Women file lawsuit against Federal Way police over mother's death

Interim Federal Way police chief Andy Hwang, among others, are named in a lawsuit filed May 13 against the city in the death of Baerbel Roznowski, 66. Roznowski's boyfriend is accused of stabbing her to death after police served him an anti-harrassment order.

Roznowski's daughters, Carola Washburn and Janet Loh, allege their mother's death on May 3, 2008, could have been avoided had police taken measures to make sure Roznowski's boyfriend, Chan "Paul" Kim, understood the order and had police made efforts to ensure he left the home he shared with Roznowski.

The lawsuit names Hwang and officer Andy Hensing, who served the order. The women allege Hwang, who after the order was served, received phone calls placed by Roznowski's friends, who were concerned about her safety. The women said Hwang should have done more than advise the friends to call 911.

They allege Hensing left the home with Kim still inside with Roznowski. He also failed to summon an interpreter for Kim, who is of Korean descent, the lawsuit alleges. Charging documents say Kim told Hensing he understood what the order meant and that he had to leave the home.

Hours after the order was served, police were summoned again to the house in the 2000 block of Southwest 353rd Place. They found Roznowski dead from knife wounds, and found Kim attempting to harm himself with the weapon.

Washburn and Loh filed a tort claim against the city for a dollar amount between $8 million and $12 million for the loss of their mother in December 2008. It is unclear how much the lawsuit seeks. Interim city manager Brian Wilson, who in July served as police chief, responded to the claim that month stating his department's role was only to serve the order.

Kim is awaiting a June 24 trial and is being held on $2 million bail.

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