Order for Insurer to Pay Men Wrongfully Convicted in Nebraska Tossed on Appeal

September 14, 2018

A federal appeals panel has reversed a judge’s 2016 ruling that Douglas County, Nebraska’s insurance carrier must pay $5 million to two men wrongfully jailed in the killings of a Murdock couple.

Nick Sampson and Matthew Livers sued after being wrongfully jailed when former Douglas County crime lab chief David Kofoed planted evidence against them. They were to split the award.

But a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 11 ruled that St. Paul Travelers Cos. has no duty to cover Kofoed’s liability in the case.

Kofoed was convicted of planting blood evidence in a car to bolster the case against Livers and Sampson, who were later exonerated in the 2006 shooting deaths of Sharmon and Wayne Stock, Livers’ aunt and uncle, at the Stocks’ Cass County farmhouse.

A Wisconsin couple, Jessica Reid and Gregory Fester II, were eventually convicted of killing the Stocks and are each serving life in prison.

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