Los Angeles ADA Agrees to Pay $1.2 Million to Settle DUI Suit
On July 19, 2011, Marilyn Seymour, an Assistant District Attorney for Los Angeles County, agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by two women who suffered injuries when Seymour, while drunk, crashed into their car a year earlier.
Attorneys on both sides claimed victory. Mike Alder of Beverly Hills, who represented the two victims, Chelsea Ann Caughran and Jocelyn Hernandez, said the settlement would provide immediate compensation to his clients and prevent Seymour from appealing.
Meanwhile, Albert DiRocco, Jr. of Los Angeles, Seymour’s attorney, said “No one is happier that the plaintiffs have agreed to a reasonable settlement than my client.”
Seymour did not contest liability in the case, and had previously pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges related to the accident.
She had gone to a bar after work on April 2, 2010. By the time she left around midnight, her blood-alcohol level was almost 0.26% – more than three times the legal limit. She rear-ended the car in which Caughran and Hernandez were driving home, causing them both to sustain serious injuries.
The parties reached a settlement the same day that a Los Angeles jury returned a verdict in the case, awarding more than $1 million in compensatory damages to Caughran and Hernandez. As a result of the settlement there will be no second trial to determine punitive damages.
“She admitted on the stand [that] she knew she was drunk but nonetheless got in her car because she hoped she wouldn’t get caught; ... she had done this several times before without getting caught,” Alder said of Seymour, who remains employed with the DA’s office.
Source: The National Law Journal