Curd, Galindo & Smith, LLP Settles City of Salinas Police Shooting Wrongful Death Suit for $2,125,000

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Alex Galindo attorney with the Law firm of Curd Galindo & Smith, LLP of Long Beach, California, and Michael Haddad attorney with Haddad & Sherwin of Oakland, California, announce that the settlement of $2.1 million is now final.

"The Plaintiffs alleged in the complaint that Officer Mattocks shot her two times, killing her"

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Alex Galindo attorney with the Law firm of Curd Galindo & Smith, LLP of Long Beach, California, and Michael Haddad attorney with Haddad & Sherwin of Oakland, California, announce that the settlement of $2.1 million is now final in the shooting death of Maria Irma Dela Torre against the City of Salinas. The case was originally filed in Federal Court in San Jose in September 2009, Deleon et al v. City of Salinas Case No.: C09-00626 RMW.

The City of Salinas announced on October 19, 2010, that under the terms of the settlement, without any admission of liability, the city will pay Maria Irma Dela Torre’s mother $1.6 million and her husband, Jose Maximiano Licea Abarca, will receive $525,000.

The complaint alleges that Maria Irma Dela Torre who suffered from epilepsy had just had a seizure and had locked herself in her sister’s minivan. Dela Torre seemed disorientated and was trying to start the minivan with a penny as if it were a key. The lawsuit further contends that the police ordered her to come out and that Officer Robert Balaoro told Officer Mattocks that he was going to taser her when she came out. Court documents show that she complied with the order and was tased by Officer Balaoro and at the same time Officer Steven Mattock shot her twice in the back killing her at the scene. Court documents alleged that Police Officers at the scene thought that Maria Irma Dela Torre lunged at officers Steve Mattocks and Robert Balaoro with a metal crochet hook. The officers testified at deposition under oath that they mistook the crochet hook for an ice pick or knife, and as a result Officer Mattocks, in an effort to protect his partner shot her two times, killing her. The complaint indicated that Officer Balaoro used a Taser on De La Torre, hitting her with probes.

The attorneys announced that the settlement is now complete and the case was dismissed on December 17, 2010.

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