Bergener & Associates: Widow Seeks Compensation for the Death of Her 80-year-old Husband During a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Methamphetamine Raid

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Littlerock widow seeks compensation for the death of her husband Eugene Mallory, who was shot and killed in his bed during a methamphetamine raid conducted by deputies of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. In the claim submitted October 11, her attorneys allege that the warrant was obtained under false pretenses and that no traces of methamphetamine or related equipment were found on the premises.

Tonya Pate's Personal Injury Attorneys

Tonya Pate with her attorneys James Bergener and Mark Algorri

Mallory held a top level government security clearance and worked as an electrical engineer for Lockheed Martin in Palmdale until his seventies when his vision became too poor to perform his duties at the company.

On October 11, 2013, personal injury attorneys James M. Bergener of Bergener & Associates and Mark S. Algorri of DeWitt Algorri & Algorri filed a claim against the County of Los Angeles on behalf of Tonya Pate, widow of Eugene Mallory.

The claim submitted Friday against the County of Los Angeles, its Sheriff’s Department, and its Coroner’s Department alleges that the negligence and misconduct of the Los Angeles County’s agents and employees directly led to the wrongful death of Eugene Mallory.

In the filed claim, Pate's lawyers allege that during the year leading up to the raid on the Mallory home, code enforcement had inspected the property multiple times. Inspectors had always been given complete cooperation and unfettered access. The family expected more unannounced visits from code enforcement officials, who were sometimes accompanied by law enforcement, and had never denied any access that was requested.

In the claim submitted to the County of Los Angeles, Pate’s attorneys allege that on the morning of June 27, 2013 Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a no-knock, SWAT-style raid rather than asking for permission to search the property. According to the claim paperwork filed on Friday, Detective Patrick Hobbs allegedly sought and was issued a search warrant under false pretenses.

According to the Statement of Probable Cause contained in the search warrant issued June 25, 2013 Hobbs was driving around the property for the purposes of surveillance and claimed that, "once I was down wind from the location, I could smell the strong odor of chemicals." He then, according the the warrant, "formed the expert opinion" that the property was being used as a clandestine methamphetamine lab site, that the storing and/or selling of methamphetamine was ongoing, and that the supply would be replenished after being sold.

According to the claim filed by Tonya Pate's attorneys, the raid of the property which occurred June 27, 2013 produced no evidence of methamphetamine or products related to its production, its sale, or its use.

Mallory, who had celebrated his 80th birthday one month prior to his death, had no criminal record. He held a top level government security clearance and worked as an electrical engineer for Lockheed Martin in Palmdale until his seventies when, according to the claim filed, his vision became too poor to perform his duties at the company.

In statements made in the Los Angeles Coroner’s Report regarding case number 2013-04556, Sheriff’s deputies involved in the shooting claimed that Mallory exited his bedroom and pointed a revolver at the law enforcement officers. Also according to the coroner's report, Eugene Mallory stood at 6'4 and the bullets entered his chest and torso at a downward angle.

In the claim submitted to the County of Los Angeles, attorneys James M. Bergener and Mark S. Algorri allege that negligence in hiring and training practices directly led to the wrongful death of Eugene Mallory, who was sleeping in his bed when he was confronted and shot without warning by Sergeant John Bones.

The wrongful death claim additionally asserts that sheriff’s deputies failed to promptly summon emergency aid after shooting Eugene Mallory six times, leaving him to die in their presence and that they engaged in a cover up by incorrectly disposing of the body. Rather than releasing the body to Mallory’s widow, permission was obtained by a relative to cremate the body before an independent examination could be conducted.

Among the charges alleged in the claim submitted on October 11th are murder and intentional homicide, false imprisonment, assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The claim further asserts that the acts of the employees were intentional, willful, and in conscious disregard for the safety of Eugene Mallory and his family.

Bergener & Associates are personal injury attorneys serving accident victims throughout California. James Bergener has successfully resolved thousands of cases throughout his legal career. For more information on Mr. Bergener and the firm, visit http://www.bergenerlaw.com.

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James Bergener
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