Late attorney Johnnie Cochran’s one-time mistress, who sued her son and daughter-in-law alleging she was deceived into transferring more than $300,000 in proceeds from the sale of her Santa Clarita home to her son’s bank account, reached a settlement with the couple.

Patricia A. Cochran brought the lawsuit last Aug. 5 in Los Angeles Superior Court against Jonathan Cochran and Cheryl Sneathern-Cochran. The suit alleged elder abuse, intentional misrepresentation, false promise and breach of an oral agreement.

The suit sought $311,300 in damages, plus interest and a court order directing the defendants to convey to her the title of her current home.

On Tuesday, lawyers for Jonathan and Cheryl Sneathern-Cochran filed a notice of settlement with Judge Rafael Ongkeko. No terms were divulged.

In their court papers, attorneys for the defendants called Patricia Cochran’s demands “unfounded” and stated that her “hostility stunned and devastated” the couple.

Johnnie Cochran, famed for leading O.J. Simpson’s defense team in his double-murder trial, died in March 2005 at age 67 from a brain tumor. Jonathan Cochran was born in March 1973 during the lawyer’s relationship with the plaintiff, the suit stated. She changed her name from Patricia Sikora to Patricia Cochran, even though she never married the famed attorney.

According to the complaint, Patricia Cochran’s son and daughter-in-law began expressing concern for her in December 2003 because she lived alone, was in her late 60s and had no other relatives living nearby. Patricia Cochran had recently received a financial settlement from Johnnie Cochran, according to the complaint.

In May 2010, her daughter-in-law suggested she sell her home and relocate to another one that is on the same Santa Clarita street as her house and is closer to where both defendants lived, the suit stated.

Patricia Cochran initially declined and said she had an affection for her home at the time, the suit states. However, a few months later, her daughter-in-law brought up the move again and said she and her husband had bought the other house for her, the suit stated. The woman told the plaintiff that if she sold her home, the proceeds would be enough to fully pay for the other residence and that she could move in right away since the defendants already owned it, the suit stated.

Patricia Cochran later relented and sold her home, allowing the $311,300 in proceeds to be transferred to her son’s bank account in August 2010, according to the complaint.

But despite her son’s assurances, the title of Patricia Cochran’s new home was never transferred to her name, the suit alleged.

Jonathan Cochran stated to his mother, “You should have read the fine print,” the suit states.

The suit alleges that Patricia Cochran’s son and daughter-in-law bought the plaintiff’s current home at a foreclosure sale in September 2009 for $255,000.

The suit stated that there were genuine acts of kindness by her son and daughter-in-law, such as when they let the plaintiff stay with them after she had heart surgery at age 73 in March 2013 and again after she fell in her home seven months later.

Because of such gestures, Patricia Cochran “submitted to a passive and unquestioned trust of the defendants … and reasonably relied upon their exhortations, promises and representations,” according to the lawsuit.

— City News Service

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