Defendants seek stay of civil suit until murder case is resolved
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Saturday, November 10, 2012
11/10/12 at 7:20 AM
The operator and the manager of a Tulsa high-rise apartment building want proceedings in a civil suit against them stayed until a murder case is revolved against the plaintiff, who is accused of pushing her husband out a window to his death.
Amber Hilberling is both the "plaintiff in this civil dispute and the defendant in the second-degree murder case, and the current dynamic raises innumerable conflict and due process claims," says a court document filed Friday by defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed in Tulsa County District Court.
In the criminal case, Hilberling, 21, awaits a March 11 trial on a second-degree murder charge in which she is accused of pushing her husband, causing him to fall through a window.
An alternative charge of first-degree manslaughter involves an allegation that his death occurred while she was committing a domestic assault and battery.
Joshua Hilberling, 23, died June 7, 2011, when he fell 17 stories through a window in the couple's home at the University Club Tower, 1722 S. Carson Ave.
A lawsuit filed Sept. 19, in which Amber Hilberling and her infant son are listed as plaintiffs, alleges that the window was faulty and thin.
The suit says Joshua Hilberling "tripped and stumbled into a wall" and "made contact with a large window," which the suit says was not made of the type of glass required by the building code.
Defendants in the civil case are the University Club Tower, United Mansion Limited Partnership and Horizon Realty Management.
''The University defendants could not disagree more stringently with the unsupported allegations of Ms. Hilberling,'' according to the defendants' filing Friday.
Proceedings in the civil case should be stayed until a personal representative is appointed for the estate of Joshua Hilberling, Friday's filing says.
Amber Hilberling won't be prejudiced by delaying the civil matter, as a "clear conflict currently exists as Amber Hilberling is seeking to recover on behalf of the decedent although she is charged with second- degree murder arising from his death, the civil defendants contend.
''The court cannot run the risk that Ms. Hilberling will be allowed to recover on behalf of the decedent when she could subsequently be convicted of his murder in the near future, the filing states.
The lawsuit requests an unspecified amount of actual damages in excess of $10,000, plus punitive damages.
Original Print Headline: Stay of civil case for murder trial sought
Bill Braun 918-581-8455
Amber Hilberling: She is accused of causing her husband to fall through a window.