- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Three women who were victims of a serial rapist in Memphis have filed a new lawsuit in state court alleging city and county officials were negligent by allowing thousands of rape kits to go untested for years. The action comes as they drop similar claims in federal court.

Attorney Daniel Lofton, who is representing the women, told The Commercial Appeal (https://bit.ly/1AR0IBa) that the new suit would avoid the “shakier ground” in federal court, which doesn’t have the same legal precedent for the alleged constitutional violations.

He said the new lawsuit seeks relief under a state law that allows people to sue government officials for negligence.

“The city is a couple of light years away from the best practices that we expect our experts to be able to prove are being used by a majority of comparable jurisdictions,” Lofton said.

County Attorney Marcy Ingram the county does not comment on pending litigation.

City spokeswoman Dewanna Lofton said in a statement that the city would seek dismissal of lawsuit.

In an emailed statement, city spokeswoman Dewanna Lofton said, “…While we will not comment on pending litigation, please note that the Plaintiffs dismissed their own suit in the face of the City’s (and other defendants’) motions to dismiss because we believe they accurately realized they had no viable Federal claims. The City will be seeking dismissal of the State claims, as well.”

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com

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