Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Stidham widow settles suit for $2.3M



The widow of a slain eye surgeon has settled her lawsuit against former Pima County prosecutor Paul Skitzki for more than $2 million.

As a result, the county, County Attorney Barbara LaWall and another former prosecutor, Lourdes Lopez, have been dismissed from Daphne Stidham’s lawsuit.

The $2.29 million settlement was reached Monday afternoon, said a memorandum that attorney Rick Rollman sent to county Administrator Chuck Huckelberry on Tuesday.

It has yet to be determined how much of the settlement will come from the county and how much from its insurance funds.

Superior Court Judge Deborah Bernini was told late Monday afternoon that the parties had reached a settlement and vacated the trial, which was set to begin Tuesday.

Skitzki declined to comment on details of the settlement. His lawyer fees have been paid by the county because he was a public servant when Brian Stidham died.

Daphne Stidham claimed county prosecutors failed to warn her husband, Dr. Brian Stidham, 37, that another doctor wanted him killed. Brian Stidham was stabbed to death on Oct. 5, 2004.

Former eye surgeon Bradley Alan Schwartz, 42, and Ronald Bruce Bigger, 41, were convicted in separate trials and sentenced to life in prison in Stidham’s death. Both are appealing their convictions.

Lopez, Schwartz’s ex-fiancee, testified that she told Skitzki before the slaying that Schwartz threatened to have Stidham killed. Skitzki has denied knowing about the threats before Stidham was killed.

LaWall testified in county hearings over Skitzki’s firing that Stidham would be alive had Lopez or Skitzki called police and warned them of the threats.

Daphne Stidham, who now lives in Texas, settled earlier for an undisclosed amount with the owners of the North First Avenue medical complex where Stidham was slain.





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