Dorner case: Women mistakenly shot by LAPD could get more money
Two women whose truck was riddled by police gunfire during the pursuit of fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner will a receive $40,000 cash settlement to replace their vehicle, but it remains to be determined how much additional compensation they will receive for the incident.
City Atty. Carmen Trutanich and the women's attorney, Glen Jonas, stressed at a news conference that this deal was to compensate the women for the loss of the truck and is separate from any discussions regarding potential litigation involving the LAPD shooting incident in Torrance.
“Now that we resolved the issue of the truck, we can now move forward in this matter in an attempt to resolved the other issues in this case related to personal injury aspects,” Trutanich said.
Jonas said he’s optimistic that an agreement can be reached in those matters.
“If we can come to an agreement on the value regarding the damages suffered, then the case can be resolved,” Jonas said. “I’m hopeful that we can do that based on the fact that we were able to work out this issue.”
Officials say the women -- who were not present at the conference -- could receive the payment within the next two or four days. In addition to the payment, Jonas has agreed to waive $25,000 in attorney fees.
The agreement comes several weeks after the women were promised a new truck -- and two days after they publicly complained through Jonas that they had not received a new vehicle.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck had pledged to provide the truck to Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, who were delivering newspapers in Torrance on Feb. 7 when LAPD officers fired repeatedly on their blue Toyota Tacoma.
Hernandez was shot twice in the back, and Carranza was injured by broken glass.
The officers were protecting the home of a high-ranking LAPD official named in a threatening manifesto authorities said was written by Dorner, and they believed that official could have been a potential target. Dorner at the time had already killed the daughter of an LAPD captain, her fiance — a USC police officer — and a Riverside police officer, officials said.
Dorner was believed to be driving a gray Nissan Titan and there was a crime broadcast preceding the shooting that said a truck matching Dorner's was in the area.
Beck called the shooting “a tragic misinterpretation” by officers working under “incredible tension” hours after Dorner allegedly shot police officers. He promised to provide a truck from a donor regardless of potential litigation by the women.
Jonas said this week the women were first offered a used truck, then a non-four-wheel-drive Ford to replace their four-wheel-drive Toyota. The women also had to agree not to sell it for a year. His clients agreed to that truck, he said.
But then the dealership and LAPD officials said the truck would be considered a prize for tax purposes, Jonas said. “Essentially, they'd have to pay taxes like they won it on a game show,” he said.
Jonas said the situation has been compounded by the fact that the women haven't been able to work since being injured.
-- Richard Winton, Ruben Vives and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Police officers in pursuit of fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner fired on this blue Toyota Tacoma, injuring two women delivering newspapers. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times