Another day, another personal injury settlement by the city of Los Angeles. Or so it seems these days (read about some of the other recent settlements here). Making headlines this week is a recent wrongful death settlement approval between the city of Los Angeles and the family of a mentally ill man that was fatally shot by LAPD.
The Los Angeles Times reports on the details of the deadly encounter, "Ruben Herrera, 26 had been taken to the emergency room in December 2015 by officers after they used a taser and cartoid restraint- where pressure is applied to the sides of the neck on him. They had encountered Herrera that morning after responding to a report of a man throwing bottles at an apartment complex in the Harbor Gateway neighborhood. After Herrera was treated at the hospital, he attacked the officers and reached for their guns, authorities said." Ultimately, an officer with the LAPD fatally shot Herrera.
Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the main arguments presented by Herrera's family rest on the fact that excessive force was used in the initial encounter with the police. It took a jury only two hours to unanimously find the city employees responsible for this wrongful death and now the city will be paying the family $3.5 Million.
City police officers are trained to handle situations that can sometimes necessitate the use of some type of force or weapon. What they are not allowed to do is respond to a situation with excessive force which can ultimately result in avoidable injuries and deaths. Generally speaking, excessive force if the application of more force than is reasonably necessary in the situation. Police officers are not only supposed to avoid the use of excessive force but also to stop other officers that might be stepping over the line.
There should be one important takeaway from our coverage of all of the recent lawsuits against the city: if you think you have a case for a death or injury caused by a city, it is worth your time to look into it. At Walch Law, we will fight for you and will work hard to get you the same great results we have gotten for so many of our clients in the past. Lawsuits against a city of government agency are complicated and not something you want to try to handle on your own. Time is of the essence so do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.