The city of Los Angeles has reached a $4.2 million settlement to compensate the two women who were injured when police mistakenly opened fire on them during the manhunt for disgruntled ex-cop Christopher Dorner.
Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother Emma Hernandez, 71, were delivering newspapers around 5 a.m. in Torrance Feb. 7 when LAPD officers blasted at least 100 rounds at their pickup truck. Hernandez was shot twice in the back and Carranza had minor injuries.
The pair will receive $2.1 million each from the settlement. The agreement means they cannot pursue any future injury claims against the city. It is subject to L.A. City Council approval.
Their attorney Glen Jonas said Emma Hernandez is recovering well but still struggling with emotional trauma.
“This doesn’t erase anything that happened on that day,” he said. “They’re pleased that the case is settled but that doesn’t mean they are running around with big smiles on their faces.”
Jonas said settlement talks started around $15 million but after some heated discussions and shouting matches, both sides found some common ground.
L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said the settlement was a “win-win” for both sides. It spared the city millions of dollars in litigation expenses and time, he said. It was estimated those expenses could have cost the city about $5 million alone.
“To believe that there was no liability in this case would have been a stretch,” Trutanich said.
For Jonas, he said the litigation process could have taken several years to shake out. His client is 71 years old, and there’s no guarantee how much a jury would award them, he said.
But Jonas said he expects there will be some measure of discipline for the officers who shot his clients by mistake.
“We expect there to be retraining on some issues that arose that evening and led to this incident so that it doesn’t happen again,” Jonas said.
The agreement is in addition to a $40,000 settlement reached earlier for the loss of the women's pickup truck.
This story has been updated.