Monday, August 3, 2009
Deputy City Attorney Christian Bojorquez, together with DCAs Todd Hayward and Kelly Kades, successfully defended the City from a multi-million dollar lawsuit brought by the mother of a 19 month old child who died because the child was used as a human shield by her father during a 2.5 hour shootout with LAPD's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) officers.
During the two week trial Bojorquez presented evidence to counter the plaintiff's contention that SWAT should not have returned fire as the child's father fired on Officers while holding his child in one hand, and a semi automatic firearm in the other. Exactly what the plaintiff expected SWAT to do was never entirely clear and it seemed as though the plaintiff expected a payout based on emotion rather than law.
The thrust of the case presented by Bojorquez on behalf of the City established that SWAT had acted appropriately in all the circumstances. The Honorable Judge Rolf Treu agreed, ruling that there was no way a reasonable jury could find that the Officers' attempts to rescue the child from her father were unreasonable or inappropriate. Judge Treu thus granted Bojorquez's motion to dismiss the case before the jury had completed their deliberations.
Bojorquez's skillful and persuasive advocacy saved the City of Los Angeles from a multi-million dollar verdict that, in the words of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, "could have bankrupted the City."
A full account of the facts surrounding this case can be found by clicking here.
We all owe Christian, Todd, Kelly and their support staffers, Sonia and Kelly, a huge vote of thanks for defending the City so ably and for upholding the finest traditions of the Office.
Posted By: David Berger
Photo By: Nigel Skeet