A woman who was seriously injured when she was ejected from a Los Angeles Police patrol car in Koreatown in 2013 while handcuffed has tentatively settled her lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles.
Attorney David Crochetiere, who represents 31-year-old plaintiff Kim Nguyen, said the settlement of his client’s Los Angeles Superior Court complaint is subject to approval by the City Council. No terms were divulged.
Officers David Shin and Jin Oh arrested Nguyen for public intoxication after they saw her run across the street about 3 a.m. March 17, 2013, police said. Nguyen was cuffed and put in the back seat of a squad car off 6th Street between Oxford and Serrano avenues, police said.
As the officers traveled east on Olympic Boulevard, Nguyen fell out of the back of the squad car, her lawsuit stated. The complaint alleged Nguyen was not properly secured.
At the time, Nguyen was a graduate student in her last semester at Loyola Marymount’s MBA program, according to her attorneys’ court papers. When the plaintiff was taken into custody, the officers chose not to arrest a male companion who also was drunk, Nguyen’s attorneys’ court papers state.
“No female officer was called … to pat her down for possible dangerous weapons,” Nguyen’s attorneys’ court papers state. “She was not seatbelted into the car and the manual door lock was not engaged.”
Nguyen’s lawyers also stated in their court papers that one of the officers got into the back seat with their client and inappropriately touched her. Nguyen huddled against one of the patrol car doors to protect herself and minutes later fell out of the car, the plaintiff’s lawyers’ court papers state.
A building security camera captured the aftermath of the incident after Nguyen was ejected, according to her attorneys’ court papers. One of the officers was “nonchalantly standing over plaintiff who lies bloodied, with her face swollen, in the middle of the street,” her attorneys’ court papers stated.
Nguyen was hospitalized for 17 days and underwent “extensive and painful surgeries,” her court papers state. She sued in July 2013.
Defense attorneys maintained Nguyen was trying to escape, but she maintained she could not have done so because her hands were restrained.
—City News Service