LOS ANGELES – Mother-and-daughter newspaper carriers who were wounded when officers mistook their truck for Christopher Dorner’s while hunting for the revenge-bent ex-LAPD officer will get $40,000 from the city for damage to their vehicle, but personal injury claims are still likely.
The agreement between City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and the attorney for the women resolves a property damage claim resulting from the Feb. 7 shooting that injured the carriers and destroyed the Toyota Tacoma they used to deliver newspapers in Torrance.
“I’m hopeful we can come to some resolution as to the rest of the case,” Glen Jonas, the women’s attorney, said at a news conference at City Hall announcing the settlement.
The women have not yet filed a claim against the city for their injuries, but the prospect is likely, Trutanich said.
Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck previously pledged to provide a truck to Margie Carranza, 47, and her 71-year-old mother, Emma Hernandez, who were delivering newspapers when officers mistook their truck for Dorner’s.
Hernandez was shot twice in the back, and Carranza was injured by broken glass. Their blue Tacoma was riddled with more than 100 bullets.
“They are both suffering the impact of what happened,” Jonas said.
Beck previously called the shooting “tragic” and promised to provide a truck from a donor despite the possibility that the women would sue the city and department.
Although a dealer had offered to donate a Ford truck to the women, the shooting victims would be liable for about $10,000 in taxes on the new vehicle. Instead of taking the donated truck, the women now have $40,000 to buy a new vehicle — or not, Jonas said.
“They can do whatever they want with the check,” the lawyer said.
Trutanich applauded Jonas’ commitment to resolving the truck issue quickly and thanked City Councilman Dennis Zine for his part in putting the two together.
Zine said that on Tuesday, after hearing a radio show about the women’s troubles with the truck replacement, he figured “there’s got to be a way to solve this.”
Settlement discussions between the city attorney and Jonas were “the fastest in my four years in office,” Trutanich said.
He said Jonas was unusually reasonable throughout the process, and did not take about $25,000 in legal fees for his work on the deal.
As for the damaged truck, the city attorney said the LAPD has agreed to keep it in storage for a year for use in any lawsuits that might arise.
Trutanich added that the compensation agreement announced today does not include an admission of guilt by the city or the LAPD.
Dorner was accused of killing four people, including a Riverside police officer, San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy and 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.