World

Judge dismisses Waco wrongful death lawsuit

The United States government has been cleared of responsibility for the deaths of about 80 Branch Davidians in the 1993 siege and fire at Waco, Texas. A federal judge Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by families of the dead and survivors of the incident.

In his decision, the judge upheld the findings presented in July by an advisory jury that federal agents did not cause the 51-day standoff or the fire that destroyed the religious sect's compound and killed many of those inside.

In their wrongful death lawsuit, for $675 million, about 100 Branch Davidians claimed the government was negligent when agents became involved in a standoff at the compound which ended tragically when the FBI used tanks and tear gas to try to force the Davidians to leave the building.

The ruling lays the blame for the entire incident on David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidians who died in the fire, and on his adult followers. Thirteen children were among those killed on April 19, 1993.

In his ruling, the judge upheld most of the government's version of events.