The family of Tom Pickert, who was killed last fall outside his Brookside home, filed a wrongful death lawsuit last week against the suspected shooter, David G. Jungerman.
Jungerman, 80, is charged with first-degree murder and is an inmate at the Jackson County Detention Center.
The suit accuses Jungerman of battery, negligence and fraud related to a case in which Pickert won a $5.75 million personal injury judgment against him.
The family seeks a judgment in excess of $25,000 for battery and the same amount for negligence. The suit argues Jungerman's businesses and family trust should be available to "satisfy plaintiffs' claims for the wrongful death."
Pickert was a father to two children.
His widow and parents are seeking compensation for damages suffered by his death, including for "funeral expenses, burial expenses, pecuniary loss and the reasonable value of lost consortium, services, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training and support."
Among the allegations in the lawsuit:
Jungerman fraudulently concealed assets, and he was motivated to shoot Pickert because the attorney attempted to collect on the personal injury judgment.
Last August, Jungerman made a series of transfers and withdrawals totaling about $10 million in an attempt to "hinder, delay, and/or defraud creditors."
Some of the money he deposited into his daughter's bank account. Other funds he withdrew in the form of cashier's checks. And he transferred his Raytown home and other property to his daughter.
It also outlines Jungerman's history of violence and intimidation against those who threatened his wealth, amassed in part through his vintage baby furniture company, Baby Tenda. His assets totaled about $33 million earlier this year.
According to the suit, Jungerman committed battery by shooting Pickert to death from his white van outside Pickert's home in the 200 block of West 66th Terrace, and he committed negligence by recklessly firing a weapon in the neighborhood.
Jungerman "acted with an evil motive and/or showed complete indifference to or conscious disregard for the safety of others, including (Pickert)."
About a month before the shooting, Pickert sent an email to Jungerman's attorney, asking whether he and his firm should "start collection efforts" on the judgment.
Ten days before the shooting, a garnishment was filed against Jungerman, leading to levies on his property and bank accounts, and one day before the shooting, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office served him with property liens to satisfy the judgment against him.
Jungerman told an employee in March that he "killed a lawyer with a gun and gotten away with it," according to court documents. "He did it because the lawyer stole his money."
The personal injury case arose from an incident in 2012, when Jungerman shot a homeless man he encountered at his Baby Tenda warehouse.
After the $5.75 million judgment was announced in court, Jungerman approached Pickert and said, "None of this matters. I have 186 guns. I did it once before. I will do it again. You can’t touch me," the suit said.
The lawsuit alleges the threat was "consistent with Jungerman's long history of aggressiveness, bullying, and repeated threats of violence (including brandishing firearms) toward those who appear to threaten his accumulated wealth."