The wrongful death lawsuit brought against Nassau County by the family of Hofstra University student Andrea Rebello will be allowed to go forward.
The 21-year-old student was killed on May 17, 2013, during a home invasion robbery that took place in her off-campus home. Rebello, who was being used as a human shield by armed intruder Dalton Smith, was accidentally shot in the head by a police officer.
Nikolas Budimlic, a 12-plus year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department, fired eight rounds, seven of them hitting and killing Smith, and one which accidentally hit Rebello.
An 11-month probe in 2014 by the Nassau County District Attorney’s office found Smith ignored orders to drop his gun as well as threatened to kill Budimlic and Rebello. The District Attorney’s office therefore found that Budimlic was justified in using deadly force and dismissed criminal charges against him.
However, the Judge in the civil action ruled against Nassau County’s attempt to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit. Therefore Rebello’s family will be moving forward with that litigation seeking damages for Andrea’s wrongful death.
County and police officials declined to comment on the ruling, citing the ongoing litigation.