Southern California -- this just in

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Rocky Delgadillo's office just cost you about $4 million

August 1, 2008 | 12:31 pm

After Sandra Griffin sued the city of L.A. -- she suffered brain damage when a speeding LAPD vehicle broadsided her parked car in Compton in 2006 -- her lawyer offered an out-of-court settlement. What happened next cost L.A. taxpayers millions, our own Jeff Gottlieb has learned:

In early July, a jury awarded nearly $6.9 million to Sandra Griffin, who sued the city after she suffered brain damage when a speeding police car broadsided her in South Los Angeles.

But Brian Dunn, the attorney for Sandra Griffin, said that a month before the trial, he had offered to settle the case for $2.5 million. The L.A. city attorney's office wouldn't budge from its $500,000 offer, he said. "The settlement conference was a joke," Dunn said.

He probably would have come down even further from the initial $2.5 million offer, Dunn said, but the city showed no interest. Now the city attorney's office says an appeal is under consideration.

Frank Mateljan, a press deputy for the city attorney's office, said today he can't discuss the settlement negotiation due to office policy and attorney-client confidentiality.

Wait, there's more -- because the city rejected the offer, taxpayers could also be on the hook for the costs of Griffin's expert witnesses and other fees.

-- Veronique de Turenne