Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

$2.2 Million Settlement in Police Shooting of California Parolee

Verdicts & Settlements Final Preview

RESULT DATE:  February 27, 2014

Whitney Dueuez, et al. v. City of Manteca, et al. (2:11-cv-01820-LKK-KJN)

Hon. Lawrence K. Karlton

USDC Eastern

TOPIC:  Civil Rights

SUB TOPIC: Excessive Force, Deprivation of Familial Relationship

FURTHER DESCRIPTION:  Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

SETTLEMENT:  $2,200,000.00.


Plaintiff:  John Burris, Ben Nisenbaum (Law Offices of John L. Burris, Oakland)

Defendant:  Sean Conley, Austin Gibbons (Gibbons & Conley, Walnut Creek)

FACTS:  Plaintiffs sued Defendants CITY OF MANTECA, its police chief DAVID BRICKER, and Officer JOHN MOODY arising out of Officer MOODY shooting Decedent 11 times while attempting to single-handedly arrest Decedent ERNESTO DUENEZ, as he exited a stopped vehicle on June 8, 2011, in Manteca, CA.  Mr. DUENEZ’s wife, WHITNEY DUENEZ, heard the gunshots and saw the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

PLAINTIFFS’ CONTENTIONS: On June 8, 2011, Defendant Moody, on information that Decedent Ernesto Duenez, Jr. was a parolee-at-large considered armed and dangerous, and reported to be in possession of a throwing knife and to carry a firearm in his buttocks, shot Duenez 11 times while shooting 13 times, and manipulated Duenez’s body (by pulling him through the grass, flipping him over, handcuffing and searching him including pulling down his pants and inspecting his buttocks) for several minutes before trying to administer any first-aid to Duenez. Defendant Moody claims that he shot Duenez because he pointed a knife and lunged at him, and then continued to shoot him because he was making erratic movements toward his waist and reaching for the nearby pick-up truck. However, a video of the shooting captured by Defendant Moody’s “dash cam” showed that Duenez was not armed with a knife and made no threatening gesture toward Defendant Moody and that he makes natural reflexive movements in response to being repeatedly shot.  Decedent’s wife heard her husband’s name being yelled, heard gunshots, and observed the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

Plaintiffs surviving claims after Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment were for violations of civil rights, including Excessive Force under the 4th Amendment, Deprivation of Familial Relationship under the 14th Amendment, and Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress.

RESULT:  The parties settled two months before trial for $2,200,000.00.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Whitney Dueuez, et al. v. City of Manteca, et al.