$13 Million Settlement for Family of Woman Killed by School Safety Officer
Attorneys Robin Perry and Arnold Casillas announced a $13 million settlement for the family of Mona Rodriguez in the wrongful death lawsuit brought against the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) for the fatal shooting of the 18-year-old woman by a school safety officer in 2021.
The settlement, the largest in a school district shooting in U.S. history, was announced during a press conference on Tuesday April 4, 2023. Rodriguez was a passenger in a car near Millikan High School when the officer opened fire and shot her in the head. Rodriguez’s family, including her 5-month-old son, will receive the settlement.
During the press conference, Rodriguez’s family members spoke about the pain of losing a loved one and their hope for justice in criminal court. The LBUSD declined to comment on the settlement other than to express condolences to those impacted by the tragedy.
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Police say the shooting stemmed from a fight between Rodriguez and a 15-year-old girl. School safety officer Eddie Gonzalez, who was driving in the area at the time, witnessed the altercation and intervened. Gonzalez was fired from his job after the shooting and is facing criminal charges for second-degree murder.
“In my opinion the school security office is not run as a professional organization. It appears to me that the school security office runs more like an ‘old boy’s club’ and there needs to be accountability not only for Eddie Gonzalez, but for the people who made the decision to hire him” Mr. Perry said.
The lawsuit alleged that LBUSD was negligent in training Gonzalez in de-escalation tactics and guidelines set by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. As a result of not being properly trained, Gonzalez overreacted and fired into a moving car, according to the lawsuit.
Attorney Robin Perry has handled civil litigation and personal injury throughout Los Angeles from his office in Long Beach since 1998.
Contact the Law Offices of Robin D. Perry & Associates for more information.
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Attorney Robin D. Perry has been part of the Long Beach Community for over 25 years handling business litigation, employment litigation and advising, criminal defense, personal injury and code enforcement defense for businesses.