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Court denies insurance company’s appeal in Ryan Ferguson lawsuit

Ryan ferguson appeal
ABC 17 News
Missouri Appeals Court judges ruled with Ryan Ferguson Tuesday that an insurance company has to pay out millions for damages related injuries Ferguson sustained by Columbia police officers.


Missouri Court of Appeals Western District judges sided with Ryan Ferguson after an insurance company appealed a Boone County court ruling that awarded Ferguson $5.3 million in a wrongful conviction lawsuit.

St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, doing business as Travelers Insurance, covered the city of Columbia for law enforcement liability from 2006 to 2011 for up to $2 million per year. The company was ordered to give Ferguson $1 million for each year he was in prison under their policy. An additional $354,000 was awarded for Ferguson's legal fees.

The insurance company alleged the events described in the lawsuit happened before the city's insurance policy kicked in. The appeals court ruled the policy covered Ferguson's imprisonment, which it said is outlined in the policy's terms.

Ferguson was imprisoned for 10 years for the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt. State appeals court judges threw out his conviction in 2013, finding prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense.

A federal court awarded Ferguson more than $11 million in a settlement after he sued the city of Columbia along with police and prosecutors. The city and its current insurer paid out $2.75 million to Ferguson.

The three-judge panel denied Ferguson's cross-appeal that the circuit court erred in the amount of interest it awarded him.

Crime / Missouri / News / Top Stories

Matt Ragsdale

Matt Ragsdale is a broadcast and digital producer at ABC 17 News.



  1. What happened to this young man, his family and the victim of this crime was a disgusting portrayal of lazy law enforcement. Let’s find who fits regardless of guilt & evidence. This was a total farce against justice for all concerned parties. How much money does a time machine cost?? How much money does innocence cost?? Who can truly compensate all the victims of this crime by the ‘justice’ system?

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