Wilson v. County of La, Settlement, Ca, Failure to Protect, 2007
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MEMORANDUM January 30, 2007 TO: THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY CLAIMS BOARD FROM: COLLINS, COLLINS, MUIR & STEWERT John Collins and Catherine Mason-Mathers RUBEN BAEZA, JR. Principal Deputy County Counsel Law Enforcement Services Division RE: Tony Shane Wilson v. County of Los Angeles Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC 346184 DATE OF INCIDENT: March 27,2004 AUTHORITY REQUESTED: $80,000 COUNTY DEPARTMENT: Sheriffs Department CLAIMS BOARD ACTION: 0' Approve D ~~ fj~J(~ ~~U~ Disapprove , Chief Administrative Office ROCKY A. ARMFIELD , County Counsel - 1() , Auditor-Controller MARIA M. OMS on Fa,f~ HOA.42141O.1 /1 D - 1,.. ,2007 Recommend to Board of Supervisors for Approval SUMMARY lawsuit of Tony Shane Wilson, who was injured by a fellow inmate in the Los Angeles This is a recommendation to settle for $80,000 the civil County JaiL. LEGAL PRICIPLE The County is responsible for the intentional and negligent acts of its employees acting within the course and scope of their employment. SUMMARY OF FACTS Tony Shane Wilson was an inmate in the Los Angeles County jaiL. He was placed in a protective custody module, because he was a witness cooperating with the District Attorney in a prosecution of a separate criminal case against another inmate. On March 27,2004, Mr. Wilson was attacked with a knife by an unescorted K-l 0 inmate, who was distributing food in the module where Mr. Wilson was housed. K-IO, or "keep away," inmates are supposed to be escorted by a Deputy at all times. Mr. Wilson sued the County and three Sheriffs Deputies for his liJunes. DAMAGES Mr. Wilson suffered a laceration from his left ear to the center of his neck, and received over 200 stitches. He claims he will have permanent scarrng on his face. Should this matter proceed to trial, the potential damages could be as follows: Mr. Wilson for all of HOA.4214Iû.1 Medical expenses $ 10,000 Future medicals Emotional distress Total $200.000 $230.000 $ 20,000 The proposed settlement calls for the County to pay $80,000 to his claims for damages, costs and attorneys' fees. 2 STATUS OF CASE The trial court proceedings have been suspended pending consideration of the proposed settlement. Expenses incured by the County in defense of this matter are attorneys' fees of$19,617 and $7,607 in costs. EVALUATION This is a case of probable liability. A jury would likely conclude the Sheriffs Deputy was negligent because Mr. Wilson's assailant was supposed to be escorted by a Deputy when serving food in the module. A reasonable settlement at this time will save further litigation costs and avoid a jury verdict that could exceed the proposed settlement. We join with our private counsel, Collins, Collins, Muir & Stewart, in recommending a settlement of this matter in the amount of $80,000. The Sheriffs Department concurs in the recommendation. RHG:RB:mp HOA.42141O.1 3