Two women who were injured when Los Angeles police opened fire on their pickup truck in Torrance while they were delivering newspapers during the manhunt for former LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner have reached a $4.2 million settlement with the city, attorneys announced today.
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and attorney Glen Jonas, who represents Margie Carranza and her mother, Emma Hernandez, announced the payout, which will be split evenly between the two women in response to their personal injury claims.
The $4.2 million settlement, which is expected to cover legal fees, medical bills and emotional damage, still needs to be approved by the City Council.
"We hope that Margie and Emma will be able to move on with their lives," Trutanich said. "... The city will be spared literally millions of dollars in litigation fees ... expenses, and time and distraction. And hopefully this will put an end to the Dorner saga once and for all."
Jonas said the financial resolution staved off lawsuits from his clients that would have "cost the city millions upon millions."
A quick resolution was especially important for Hernandez, who is 71 years old, he said.
"You think she wants to wait five or 10 years for a maybe or a could be?" Jonas said. "So $4.2 million means a lot more to her today than potentially $7 million."
By Jonas' estimation, if the case had gone to trial, taxpayers would have ended up paying around $15 million if the city lost.
In March, the attorneys announced a $40,000 settlement of the women's property-damage claim, which stemmed from extensive damage done to their pickup truck, which officers mistook for the one Dorner had been using during his killing spree.
Officers riddled the Toyota Tacoma with more than 100 bullets during the Feb. 7 shooting. Hernandez, 71, was shot twice in the back, while Carranza, 47, was injured by broken glass.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck previously called the shooting "tragic." He initially promised to provide the women with a replacement truck, but that issue became complicated when the women realized they would be liable for about $10,000 in taxes on the new vehicle. That led to the $40,000 settlement.
Dorner was accused of killing four people, including a Riverside police officer, a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy and the daughter of a former LAPD captain, during a rampage fueled by his anger over being fired from the Los Angeles force several years ago.
The disgruntled ex-cop's remains were found inside a burned-out Big Bear cabin after a shootout with law enforcement on Feb. 12, culminating a nearly week-long manhunt for the fugitive.
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