New trial date set in Whiteclay fire lawsuit

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ A judge has set a new trial date for a lawsuit filed by a man who was burned in a grass fire in Nebraska, near South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

U.S. District Court Judge Lyle Strom moved the trial to Jan. 27. The trial had been scheduled to start on Tuesday.

Bryan Bluebird Jr. is suing Rushville firefighters and Sheridan County Sheriff Terry Robbins. The lawsuit alleges local officials set the controlled fire without thoroughly checking the area.

Bluebird was lying in the field in March 2012 after drinking in Whiteclay, Neb., and suffered burns on 25 percent of his body. Robbins and the firefighters say Bluebird was negligent.

Defense attorneys say they requested the new date because Robbins still is recovering from a stroke.

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