L.A. County Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit

By City News Service

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to pay $750,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the mother of a 38-year-old schizophrenic man electrically stunned and hogtied by sheriff’s deputies during his arrest.

The money will go to Barbara Batchan, the mother of Parrish Batchan, who lapsed into a semi-conscious state after deputies used a stun gun to take him into custody in Vernon on Dec. 29, 2008. He died more than three years later, on Feb. 29, 2012.

The confrontation with deputies occurred after Batchan walked naked through traffic, pounding on passing cars, according to court documents. When he jumped onto a van and smashed the windshield, Deputy Omar Bobadilla fired his stun gun at Batchan, who kept on walking.

His mother’s attorneys said deputies ultimately hogtied Batchan, applying enough pressure to his back to cause him to go into cardiac arrest.

Batchan was taken to County-USC Medical Center and subsequently transferred to a long term care facility, where he died, according to sheriff’s department documents.

Just two days before Batchan died, jurors deliberating the civil case brought by his mother deadlocked, with the vote 6 to 6.

A summary prepared by county attorneys said, “The deputies contend that they acted reasonably under the circumstances, however, in light of the potential for high exposure, and the uncertainties of litigation, a full and final settlement of the case … is recommended.”

A review by the sheriff’s Executive Force Review Committee ended in “appropriate administrative action,” according to the summary.

Lawyers for both sides reached a settlement in February. The board’s vote formalizes that agreement.

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July 11, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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