Fullerton Agrees to $4.9 Million Settlement in Kelly Thomas Death Suit
The city of Fullerton agreed to pay $4.9 million to the father of Kelly Thomas, the mentally ill homeless man who was viciously beaten to death by police in a shocking video made even more shocking that the officers were acquitted.
The incident took place in 2011 and Thomas’ father, Ron Thomas, filed the suit a year later.
But it was not until the day of the trial that the city council folded, agreeing to the settlement.
According to CBS Los Angeles:
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.
The Fullerton City Council approved the deal during a closed-door meeting called just as opening statements were set to being in trial of the lawsuit, which was filed by Thomas’ father Ron on the one-year anniversary of his son’s 2011 death.
The lawsuit alleged assault and battery, negligence, wrongful death and civil rights violations.
An 11-woman, five-man jury was told to stay home and return to court tomorrow. The panel is still expected to come to the courthouse, but the judge presiding over the case will simply thank them for their service and dismiss them.
Several officers were involved in the beating but Manual Ramos and Jay Cicinelli were charged and went to trial, only for a jury to acquit them. A third cop, Joseph Wolfe, was never charged.
Fullerton city attorney Richard Jones tried to put a positive spin on the news, telling the Voice of Orange County there is a possibility an insurance company pay cover the cost of the settlement, so it would not have to come out of taxpayer’s pockets.
But it always comes out of taxpayer’s pockets, even if it goes through the insurance company first, which will be sure to jack up their rates if they do pay this settlement.