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L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Settles Police Shooting Case for $150,000

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LACSD) offered a six-figure settlement to a gunshot victim rather than risk civil proceedings. Salvador Montoya filed suit alleging he was shot without cause by an LACSD deputy.

Montoya was walking in the middle of the street in Compton. When an LACSD deputy asked him to step out of the road, Montoya fled. The deputy called for backup, which arrived in under a minute. The two deputies then began canvassing the area in order to locate the suspect. As the deputies spoke with a group of bystanders, Montoya appeared and began walking toward the group. A deputy approached Montoya and a struggle ensued. The deputy yelled, “He has my gun!” at which point the assisting deputy shot Montoya in the abdomen. Montoya was transported to and treated at a local hospital.

Upon reviewing all the facts, the county attorney recommended a final settlement of $150,000. By then, the county already spent $148,330.09 on attorney fees and $85, 201.30 on other costs for a total of $233,531.39. County officials stated, “The recommendation to settle this case is made strictly as a business decision and is not an admission of any misconduct on the part of Department personnel,” as well as “A full and final settlement at this time will avoid further litigation costs and a potential jury verdict which may exceed the recommended settlement amount.” Therefore, if Montoya accepts the proposed settlement, the county of Los Angeles will have spent approximately $400,000, while admitting no fault. See: Montoya v. County of Los Angeles, USDC SACV 05-1146 CJC ANX (2005).

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Related legal case

Montoya v. County of Los Angeles