A Redondo Beach surfer who claimed he was unable to work after a Torrance policeman mistakenly shot at him during the manhunt for rogue Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner has settled his lawsuit against the city and its Police Department, court documents indicated June 5.
Although no one associated with the case would discuss the development, attorneys on both sides filed a “notice of settlement” in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on June 3.
“The parties have filed a notice of settlement based on a tentative agreement,” Torrance police Sgt. Robert Watt said. “Because the agreement has not been finalized and is not expected to be finalized for several weeks, the city has no further comment at this time.”
Robert Sheahen, the attorney for David Perdue and his wife, Lizzette, also declined comment.
The court notice said the Perdues settled with the city of Torrance and Officers Brian McGee and Erin Sooper. Trial had been set for August, but the lawsuit will be dismissed within 90 days.
Perdue, 39, alleged in his lawsuit that McGee nearly killed him when the officers rammed his truck and fired three shots at him on Flagler Lane near Beryl Street on Feb. 7, 2013. The bullets missed.
Perdue was heading to pick up a friend that morning to go surfing when he found himself caught in the chaos of the search for Dorner, a fired Harbor Division officer who vowed to take his revenge against the families of the LAPD officials who dismissed him.
By that morning, Dorner had already killed a police officer’s daughter and her boyfriend in Irvine, and killed a police officer in Riverside County and wounded another.
Torrance police officials admitted their officers were on edge that morning, concerned for their lives if Dorner came into the city. LAPD officers took positions at homes of top officials named in Dorner’s online manifesto outlining his plans to kill. One of those homes was on Redbeam Avenue.
Perdue was in his truck around the block when eight LAPD officers opened fire on two newspaper carriers they mistakenly believed were Dorner.
Hearing those shots and believing Perdue was Dorner fleeing the gunfire, McGee and Sooper rammed Perdue’s truck. McGee fired three shots through his driver’s side window, missing.
Dorner was never anywhere near Torrance. He died five days later in a gunbattle with San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies in Big Bear, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. One deputy was killed and another wounded during the shootout.
Los Angeles city officials settled quickly with the newspaper carriers, giving the women $2.1 million each and $40,000 to replace their truck, but Sheahen had an acrimonious relationship with Torrance officials as he sought a similar settlement.
Torrance provided $20,000 for a new truck, but offered $500,000 to settle the case, far from the millions Sheahen sought.
The lawsuit alleged Perdue suffered head trauma and spinal injuries in the encounter with police, could no longer surf, could not lift his children, and was unable to work as a baggage handler at Los Angeles International Airport.