One family dropped from wrongful death suit

Court says alcohol not the cause of Anna Bui’s death
By Brandon Gustafson | Feb 13, 2019

A Snohomish County judge dismissed the Bratvold family – the owners of the house where the July 30, 2016, triple homicide occurred in Mukilteo –  from a wrongful death lawsuit filed late last year.

In July 2016, Allen Ivanov, a Kamiak graduate, shot and killed three other Kamiak graduates, including his ex-girlfriend, Anna Bui, at a party at the Bratvolds’ house in Harbour Pointe. Also killed were Jake Long and Jordan Ebner.

A fourth Kamiak grad, Will Kramer, was also shot, but survived.

David Bui, the older brother of Anna Bui, filed the wrongful death suit last October, seeking monetary damages as the representative of his sister’s estate.

Named in the suit along with the Bratvolds were Allen Ivanov, Ivanov’s parents, and Cabela’s, the outdoors store where Allen Ivanov purchased the AR-15-style rifle he used to commit the murders.

Ivanov was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole on Jan. 12, 2017. He is incarcerated at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

The house party had alcohol, and everyone there was under 21.

David Bui’s suit said the Bratvolds were “negligent in providing alcohol to a minor and/or permitting alcohol to be consumed by a minor on their premises.”

During the shooting, Ivanov shot and killed Ebner and Long, and injured Kramer, outside the house before entering and killing Bui, who was seated at a table, surrounded by friends.

According to court records, the Bratvolds’ son, Tristan, who was hosting the party and was not named in the suit, Bui couldn’t escape like the others because she was too intoxicated.

According to court records, the Bratvolds were in Eastern Washington the night of the party.

The Bratvolds filed a motion to be removed from the lawsuit earlier in late January.

“While alcohol was present at the gathering and consumed by minors, no amount of alcohol served or consumed could, as a matter of law, have proximately caused Allen Ivanov’s intentional, criminal, premeditated, cold-blooded murder,” their motion for dismissal said. “While this event was a tragedy, it was entirely unforeseeable and outside the scope of harm perceived by the Legislature in drafting RCW 66.44.270 – furnishing liquor to minors.”

Judge Millie M. Judge, on Feb. 6, sided with the Bratvolds.

“The court finds that this was not a foreseeable type of harm that the Bratvolds were required to defend against, and to find otherwise under the facts presented would put them in a position in strict liability,” Judge said. “The court does not find that alcohol was the proximate cause of Anna Bui’s death and finds that the superseding, intervening cause of her death cuts off the Bratvolds’ liability.”

 

Other lawsuit

This is the second wrongful death suit regarding the 2016 shooting.

Autumn Snider, Long’s mother, filed a wrongful death suit last June, naming Ivanov and his parents as the defendants.

Snider alleges that Ivanov’s parents are also at fault, as they knew Ivanov had purchased the rifle, and that he had a history of mental health problems, which his parents were aware of.

The lawsuit also says Ivanov exhibited irrational and disturbing behavior in the weeks prior to the shooting due to his breakup with Anna Bui.

The suit brings up a letter, dated Dec. 3, 2016, that was written by Ivanov’s legal team that detailed his mental health and psychological problems.

In the letter, Ivanov’s attorney stated that Ivanov was “an emotionally immature man, not much more than a boy who does not understand and does not yet know how to process and deal with the tensions and emotions of a deep personal relationship.”

The letter went on to say Ivanov showed signs of “juvenile brain immaturity” and that his attorney believed he was on both the autism and schizophrenia spectrums.

The suit says Snider believes much of the information in the letter came from Ivanov’s parents, who also knew that he had purchased a Ruger AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

Snider also alleges both Anna and Dimitri Ivanov knew their son had serious mental issues, and also “presented a danger to himself and others by the combination of his possession of the assault rifle, his highly agitated emotional state, and his history of mental and psychological illness.”

Snider alleges Ivanov’s parents allowed him to live in their house because he was incapable of living on his own due to his mental health issues and his immaturity, and that they treated him like a child because of that.

The suit also states that Ivanov’s parents assumed a duty to the community because of their son’s possession of the rifle, coupled with his mental health problems.

That suit is also making its way through the court system.

 

 

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