LA Sheriff's Deputy Misconduct Lawsuit Settlements Total $47M

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LA Sheriff’s Deputy Misconduct Lawsuit Settlements Total $47M

November 15, 2022 María López Garcia

Los Angeles County has agreed to pay compensation to victims of police negligence, including a settlement worth over $16 million

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Negligent acts by law enforcement officers have always been a problem. While many complaints do not move forward, others get paid for the harm caused. Recently, five California families have seen their cases get the compensation they deserved for damages. For this reason, Los Angeles County has agreed to settle five LA Sheriff’s Deputy misconduct lawsuits.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the payout for the victims and families of the fatalities in late October. In total, $47.6 million will be distributed for LA Deputy misconduct lawsuits that sparked conflict and commotion among citizens.

Case #1: Timothy Neal – $16.5M 

The largest financial settlement of the five cases goes to Timothy Neal at $16.5 million. Neal was paralyzed by a police officer who shot him in the back while he was at his parents’ home in Malibu. The events of the accident date back to July 26, 2019, when the victim was in his bedroom suffering from a schizophrenic break. 

Neal, who had locked himself in his room, was holding two knives when police forced the door with a sledgehammer. According to the DA’s report, the man threw a bottle of champagne at police officers before being shot.

Neal’s parents had called the police the day before, stating that their son had a psychotic breakdown and was trying to kill them. When officers responded to the emergency, they tried to mediate with him, but he was reluctant to leave his room. The next day, July 26, his mother called 911 again in an attempt to have him transported to a psychiatric hospital. However, according to the parents’ statements, the police resolved the situation in a negligent and misconduct manner.

They alleged that the police officers “broke Tim’s bedroom door down with a sledgehammer. When Tim, still in the throes of paranoid schizophrenia, attempted to run from the officers, he was shot in the back and rendered a paraplegic.” 

Reasons for the lawsuit settlement: 

“This lawsuit concerns allegations of civil rights violations, excessive force, and inadequate training or lack of training by sheriff’s deputies.” 

Case #2: Eric Briceño – $16.25M 

Eric Briceño’s parents received a compensation award similar to Neal’s for their son’s death on March 16, 2020. The 39-year-old man died after being beaten several times and shot with a Taser at his home in Maywood. Briceñot was also in the midst of a mental health crisis.

The statement from Briceño’s parents states they contacted authorities to ask for assistance regarding their son’s crisis at the time.

The family’s declaration reports that no help was forthcoming. In fact, the police officers violently pushed the victim’s mother away when they entered the house. The LA deputies’ misconduct lawsuits filed by the family claim that they “surprised” Briceño when he was lying on his bed, apparently sleeping. When the mother tried to record the situation, the officers took away her cell phone.

“Without justification, all four of the deputies beat and tasered Eric,” the prosecution’s report recounts. According to the family, “several male deputies were on top of Eric, either kneeling on his back or hitting him with batons,” at the same time another female deputy was elbowing him. The mother states that she heard Eric say “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe” during the altercation.

The medical examiners confirmed cardiopulmonary arrest as the cause of death. According to the report, compression to the neck and immobilization caused by the Taser was the primary reason.

Reasons for the lawsuit settlement: 

“This lawsuit concerns allegations of a fatal use of force incident and wrongful death by Sheriff’s Deputies.”

Case #3: Andres Guardado – $8M

The Andres Guardado case caused much consternation and turmoil among neighbors in the area. The 18-year-old was shot several times in the back by a Sheriff’s deputy on June 19, 2020. Now, justice compensates the families with $8 million for manslaughter due to police negligence.

According to authorities, two officers saw Guardado displaying a gun outside an auto body shop. According to the family’s statement, the victim was a security guard at the business, located in the West Compton neighborhood.

The police report states that the officers chased Guardado down a driveway. At some point, the young man surrendered and was facing down, leaving the gun on the ground.

One of the officers, Miguel Vera, claimed that when he went to put Guardado in handcuffs, he attempted to grab the gun from the ground, which led him to open fire.

Despite the deputy’s account, the official autopsy confirms that Guardado was completely on the ground when he was hit by five shots in the back.

This accident prompted the first LA County Coroner’s Inquest in four decades.

Reasons for the lawsuit settlement:

“This wrongful death lawsuit arises out of the death of plaintiff’s son, who was fatally shot by a Sheriff’s Deputy in an unincorporated area near the city of Gardena.”

Case #4: Pedro López – $5M 

Pedro López was an innocent bystander who was fatally shot while in the backyard of his Norwalk home on February 17, 2022. His death, according to the lawsuit, was caused by the negligence and misconduct of a group of officers. The family obtained a $5 million settlement as a result of their persistence in filing their LA deputy misconduct lawsuit.

The official account states that the accident took place in an unfortunate manner. The incident originated after police pursued a carjacking suspect. When officers opened fire on the suspect, one of the bullets struck López. It took officers four hours to search his home. When they found him, he was already dead.

Reasons for the lawsuit settlement: 

“This case “concerns allegations of federal civil rights violations and wrongful death by Sheriff’s Deputies.”

Case #5: Rufino Paredes – $1.9M

The family of Rufino Paredes obtained nearly $2 million in compensation for his death, which occurred on November 30, 2018. The father of five committed suicide while in the custody of the Sheriff’s Department. When Paredes was arrested, the mother informed the officer that he was not a felon, but was suffering from a mental breakdown. Despite this, the deputy transported him to the police station, where Rufino took his own life. The mother, who had gone to the police facility early in the morning to try to get her son out, did not receive an update until eight hours later, when she was informed that he had committed suicide.

Reasons for the lawsuit settlement: 

“This wrongful death lawsuit alleges federal civil rights violations, denial of medical care, and negligence arising out of the death of plaintiff’s son while in the custody of the Sheriff’s Department.”

David Ordaz Jr., One of California’s Most Notorious Cases of Police Misconduct

These LA deputy misconduct lawsuits are reminiscent of one of the most talked about cases in Los Angeles in recent years. The death of 34-year-old David Ordaz Jr., caused a wave of tension among the people of Los Angeles. The case, which is still pending, is being handled by Adamson Ahdoot’s attorneys. 

On March 14, 2021, the victim’s family called the police to ask for help for Ordaz Jr. At this time, the father of three was suffering from a mental health breakdown, and they feared he would take his own life. Despite being aware of his health condition, the officers opened fire on Ordaz Jr. 

The misconduct of the deputies led to Ordaz Jr.’s death, as seen in this video.

Now, Ordaz Jr.’s family, along with Adamson Ahdoot’s experienced lawyers, are in the process of a federal lawsuit. The complaint mentions that the four officers present at the scene acted “negligently,” “carelessly” and used “unjustifiable deadly force.” 

The indictment not only seeks monetary damages for the wrongful death of Ordaz Jr., but also for the pain and suffering caused to those family members who witnessed the shooting.

So far, Adamson Ahdoot’s lawyers have succeeded in bringing one of the negligent deputies to justice. As we published yesterday, one of the police officers involved in Ordaz’s murder, Remin Pineda, has been charged with the unlawful fatal shooting, resulting in a negligent death. The agent faces charges of felony assault with a semi-automatic firearm and assault under the color of authority.

Affected by Police Negligence and Misconduct in Los Angeles? Let us Help you Win Your Case

It is becoming increasingly common to see stories related to LA Deputy Misconduct Lawsuits. The consequences of police negligence, as we have seen, can be very tragic. While some victims have suffered devastating injuries that have left them in wheelchairs, others have been wrongfully killed

If you too suffered injuries at the hands of a police officer, report it today. Adamson Ahdoot has experience handling major cases of police misconduct, such as that of David Ordaz Jr. Our goal is not only to get the largest settlement for our clients, but to deliver justice and make the responsible party pay for their actions.

Contact our attorneys today if you would like to learn more about your case. Call (800) 310-1606 to schedule a free, no-obligation appointment. Don’t be afraid to bring the perpetrator of your accident in front of the law. 

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