Settlement

By Lou Ponsi / Staff Writer
Nov. 23, 2015 – Updated 12:11 p.m.

A $4.9 million settlement has been reached in the Kelly Thomas wrongful-death civil suit against Fullerton and current and former police officers, attorneys announced Monday just hours before the civil case was to begin.

Dana Fox, an attorney for city of Fullerton, announced the $4.9 million agreement on behalf of all of the attorneys involved in the case at Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana.

Less than an hour before, the Fullerton City Council emerged from a closed-door, emergency meeting at City Hall with a similar announcement, though the settlement amount wasn’t given.

“The settlement amount is still pending final approval by the city’s insurers, and therefore will not be announced at this time,” City Attorney Dick Jones announced at City Hall. “The contemplated settlement has been negotiated by the city’s insurers and has been reviewed by the city.

The courtroom opened about 10:45 a.m., and attorneys huddled in the jury room for 10 minutes as the crowd waited. During that time, Thomas’ father, Ron Thomas, was sitting, waiting patiently at the attorneys’ desk.

After they left the room, Fox told the Orange County Superior Court Judge Kirk H. Nakamura that all parties had reached “a full and final settlement” and he has consent from the city to move forward. Fox said they worked to finalize the agreement over the weekend.

However, Fox said, the defendants and the city continue to dispute the claims, as well as their liability for damages, but seek to avoid a protracted trial.

“No one is admitting liability for any reason,” Fox said.

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