Mitrice Richardson Litigation Settlement Is Finalized
• Each Parent Has Received $450,000 from L.A. County
BY ANNE SOBLE
Assistant County Counsel Roger Granbo told the Malibu Surfside News this week that the two consolidated lawsuits in the Mitrice Richardson death "are settled and over, with the mother and father each getting $450,000."
Granbo signed the final settlement papers on behalf of Los Angeles County.
The assistant county counsel also indicated, "The settlement amounts have been paid" to Latice Sutton and Michael Richardson separately—the two never married.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a settlement total of $900,000 in a closed-door meeting on Aug. 16, subject to all parties signing the final agreement.
Sources in the county indicated that the contract counsel representing the case against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department had made offers as low as $100,000.
The text of the agreement indicates the "parties agree that there are disputed questions of fact and law in both the first litigation and the second litigation, and that this agreement arises from compromise. Defendant [Los Angeles County/LASD] expressly denies liability in both actions and that payment of moneys pursuant to this agreement is not an admission of liability by defendant."
All sides are responsible for their own costs, expenses and attorney fees.
The parents' consolidated litigation had been pared down considerably by Superior Court Judge William Fahey and set for trial in mid-September if a settlement and release agreement had not been negotiated before then.
Some family members and supporters following the case had expressed a strong preference that the litigation go to trial so that depositions and other discovery documents might become public.
Unconfirmed rumors about retractions and inconsistent testimony were rife throughout the lengthy discovery process.