Former police chief’s lawsuit against Home Depot dismissed

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COEUR d'ALENE — The lawsuit of an embattled former Idaho police chief who sued Home Depot after falling from a shelf in his garage was dismissed this week in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene.

U.S. District Judge Stanley A. Bastian ordered the case be dismissed and that each party shoulder costs accrued in the suit.

“The parties stipulate that the above-captioned action be dismissed with prejudice and with each side to bear their own costs and fees,” Bastian wrote in his ruling.

Attorneys hired by Home Depot, and Paul Thomas Clark of Lewiston who represented former Lewiston Police Chief Chris Ankeny, agreed to the dismissal filed Monday in U.S. District Court.

The suit was a result of a fall that Ankeny took in March 2016 after using a Husky, four-tiered, metal storage shelf purchased at Home Depot as a ladder to retrieve boots from a neighboring shelf in his garage.

The shelving unit collapsed and Ankeny suffered wrist and forearm injuries when he fell to the concrete floor. He sought $200,000 in damages from Home Depot alleging the shelf should have held his weight, despite attached warnings to not use the shelf as a ladder.

The accident occurred six months after Ankeny, who previously served as a police captain in North Las Vegas, was hired as the city's police chief. Ankeny's tenure in Lewiston was rocky, according to reports. Not long after becoming the chief of police he withheld the names of officers injured when a handgun discharged inside the police department. During his brief tenure, he blacked out media, refused to release information during weekends, and prohibited the press inside the department, according to reports. He purchased an armored vehicle without city council consent, and built a controversial security fence around the department and a once-public parking lot.

Ankeny resigned last month citing an inability to work with Lewiston's city manager.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2016 in Lewiston's 2nd District Court, but was moved to federal court at the request of both parties.

Clark's law office, Clark and Feeney of Lewiston, said a confidentiality agreement prevented any statements from being released regarding the case.

Ankeny, according to court records, was prepared to call seven expert witnesses from the Lewiston medical community if the case went to trial. A Moscow-based mechanical engineer was listed as Home Depot's expert, according to court records.

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