Man’s father vows to keep up fight after death settlement

24 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

$4.9 million settlement reached in Kelly Thomas wrongful-death case.

“The contemplated settlement has been negotiated by the city’s insurers and has been reviewed by the city,” Jones said in the statement. “No city funds are involved in this settlement.” “Although the city would like to say it’s not admitting liability, the reality is when you’re paying $4.9 million, almost five times what the mother took to settle her case, that speaks loudly and clearly and in volume,” said Garo Mardirossian, attorney for Thomas’ father Ron. “The act of having agreed to pay that large amount is a tacit admission, whether they admit it or not.” FULLERTON (CBSLA.com) — A wrongful-death lawsuit brought against the city of Fullerton in the death of Kelly Thomas has been settled for $4.9 million, attorneys announced Monday.

Thomas’ family claimed he was beaten and killed on July 5, 2011, by police officers who were not properly trained to deal with a mentally ill person. Since the 2011 death of his son, who was homeless and had schizophrenia that had led to previous interactions with police, Ron Thomas has crusaded to bring attention to the death, to see the officers who arrested him prosecuted and to improve police interactions with the mentally ill. And everyone can move on and try to continue the healing process.” Despite the settlement, the city attorney said the current and former police officers and police chiefs named in the suit continue to dispute all the claims made by Ron Thomas on his son’s behalf. Attorney Garo Mardirossian, representing Ron Thomas, said earlier that evidence in the trial would show the officers violated their training and department’s rules and suffocated the 37-year-old at the Fullerton Transportation Center.

The attorneys representing the defendants said Thomas had a heart attack due to a pre-existing condition and the officers acted properly and were not at fault in the man’s death. The video began with Ramos stopping Thomas after the officer answered a call about a disheveled man jiggling the handles of car doors in a busy transit center parking lot. Just before the altercation began, Ramos snapped on plastic gloves, made two fists and then held them in front of Thomas’ face as he said, “Now see these fists? They’re going to (expletive) you up.” Cicinelli, who arrived a few moments later, jolted Thomas several times with an electric stun gun and used the butt end to hit Thomas in the head and face, breaking bones.

The lawsuit names former Fullerton police Officers Manuel Ramos, Jay Cicinelli and Joseph Wolfe, who were all fired from the department; Officers Kevin Craig and James Blatney, who remain with the department; ex-Chief Michael Sellers and his predecessor, Patrick McKinley, who sat on the City Council at the time of the incident and was later recalled. The report noted that Cicinelli was recorded immediately after the incident saying that he had “smashed his face to hell” and “(expletive) beat him probably 20 times in the face with this Taser.” He said the city and its insurers agreed with the settlement to “avoid a protracted trial.” There were seven defendants in this case, including the two officers put on trial and Officer Jim Blatney and Sgt.

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