A federal judge on Tuesday granted a motion to revive a lawsuit brought by the parents of a Channahon dispatcher found dead of a gunshot wound in her apartment last year.
Samantha Harer, 23, died Feb. 13, 2018, of a gunshot to the head. Her parents, Kevin and Heather Harer, filed a lawsuit in October against their daughter’s boyfriend, Felipe “Phil” Flores, a Crest Hill police officer, for causing her death.
Flores was the only other person in the apartment with her that day. The Will County Coroner’s Office ruled Harer’s death a suicide in December.
Jennifer Bonjean, the Harers’ attorney, said the judge expressed concern on Tuesday about the circumstances under which the original lawsuit was dismissed. The family’s original lawyer, Scott Kamin, did not tell the Harers he was being suspended from practicing law and couldn’t communicate with them so they missed a hearing, and the lawsuit was dismissed.
She also rebutted the defense’s argument that the lawsuit was frivolous.
“We know a lot more now than we did then,” Bonjean said.
Bonjean said the defense put out information in the public record to push the case that Harer’s death was a suicide. She said the defense’s court filings did not address key forensic evidence regarding Flores and blood found on him.
She said she “looks forward” to questioning Flores directly, and Harer’s parents were “grateful” the lawsuit was revived.
“We’re eager to dig in because there’s a lot to uncover,” Bonjean said.
Bonjean said she has 60 days to file an amended complaint.