Shanann Watts' parents file wrongful death lawsuit against son-in-law Chris, seek $100,000 in damages

Even though Colorado law does not permit such filings to be made by anyone other than the spouse of the deceased, Frank was able to bring the lawsuit against 33-year-old Watts.


                            Shanann Watts' parents file wrongful death lawsuit against son-in-law Chris, seek $100,000 in damages

On November 19, the day that he was sentenced to three life terms with no possibility of parole for murdering his 15-week pregnant wife and two daughters, Chris Watts was named in a wrongful death lawsuit that was filed by his wife's parents. They are now seeking to get $100,000 in damages. Frank and Sandra Rzucek, Shanann Watts' parents, filed the suit against their former son-in-law because he unlawfully terminated their daughter's pregnancy, killing their unborn son, Nico, in the process.

The November 17 court filings have explained that even though Colorado law does not permit such filings to be made by anyone other than the spouse of the deceased, Frank was able to bring the civil lawsuit against 33-year-old Watts. This is because he is the designated representative of his 34-year-old daughter's estate, PEOPLE reported.

Second from left, Sandra Onorati Rzucek, Frank Rzucek, the mother and father of Shanann Watts, and her brother Frankie Rzucek hold hands as they listen to the Weld County District Attorney, Michael J. Rourke, during a press conference, at the Weld County Courthouse on November 6 (Source: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Second from left, Sandra Onorati Rzucek, Frank Rzucek, the mother and father of Shanann Watts, and her brother Frankie Rzucek hold hands as they listen to the Weld County District Attorney, Michael J. Rourke, during a press conference, at the Weld County Courthouse on November 6 (Source: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Chris was arrested on August 15 and charged with the deaths of Shanann, Bella, and Celeste after he appealed for their safe return on live television on knowing that they were missing. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges on November 6 and was sentenced to multiple life terms without the possibility of parole on November 19. 

The suit alleged that Watts strove to "[misled] investigators" in the days immediately after the murders and even made false claims to the detectives and in the TV interviews. The court filing states: "Defendant also gave multiple interviews to television and media outlets where he falsely claimed that he missed his family and was hoping they would all come home, so as to end his supposed 'nightmare' of life without his wife and children." 

 



 

 

The filing also slams Watts for blaming his deceased wife in the beginning for the deaths of their daughters, Bella and Celeste. The filing says that he "maliciously and fraudulently" misled the police. At the time the murders took place, Chris has been in an affair with his co-worker, Nichol Kessinger, whom he met at a work party. Just before he was sentenced, the prosecutors stated that it was his desire for a "fresh start" with his lover that was his motive for cruelly strangling his wife and smothering their daughters. A review hearing in the civil case is scheduled to take place on January 28.