Two women "mistakenly" shot by LAPD officers during the Dorner manhunt reached a $4.2 million settlement with the city of Los Angeles this week.
Maggie Carranza, 47, and her mother Emma Hernandez, 71, will receive the settlement as compensation after LAPD officers opened fire on their truck with the two inside, reports the Los Angeles Times. The officers were on the lookout for ex-cop Christopher Dorner, who was the subject of an intense manhunt in February.
The money is some comfort to these women, who are recovering from their injuries. But there are other innocent victims who are waiting for justice after being hurt by reckless police officers.
Women Shot While Delivering Papers
While delivering newspapers at 5 a.m., Carranza and Hernandez were shot by cops who mistook their truck for one belonging to Dorner. The officers did not identify themselves or give any warning before spraying the truck with bullets, the women's lawyer has said.
The injured women could have filed a civil suit against the police department for damages for their injuries and emotional distress, which the settlement on Monday hoped to avoid.
Civil Suits Against the Police
Police officers are typically protected from civil suits because they have qualified immunity for the job-related actions which they perform.
But there are a few ways in which victims can still recover from police. These include:
- Section 1983 suits. When you believe police have violated your constitutional rights by discriminating against you or by using excessive force, then you can sue officers or the police department.
- Torts. If a court is convinced that a reasonable officer would have known that his actions violated the law, there is no immunity from tort suits.
- Wrongful death. When a family member dies due to police action, relatives can potentially sue for wrongful death to recover for loss of consortium.
Other Possible LAPD Suits
Hernandez and Carranza weren't the only ones who suffered injuries in the LAPD's manhunt for Dorner.
David Perdue was more than surprised when the LAPD slammed into his truck and proceeded to unload rounds at Perdue after believing his vehicle to be Dorner's, reports The Huffington Post.
Perdue's attorney alleges that he suffered a concussion and shoulder injury, and all signs point to a similar settlement for damages with the LAPD.
- Women shot by LAPD during Dorner manhunt get hefty payout (Los Angeles Times)
- Los Angeles Claim for Damages Form (City of Los Angeles - City Clerk)
- Teen Locked in Police Cage Sues Cops (FindLaw's Injured)
- Police Misconduct and Civil Rights (FindLaw)