Court Reinstates Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against California Cop

August 24, 2011

A federal appeals court has reinstated a wrongful death lawsuit against a Madera police officer who authorities say mistakenly pulled out her handgun instead of her Taser before shooting a suspect in her patrol car.

This week’s decision by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco sends the lawsuit by the family of 24-year-old Everardo Torres against the City of Madera and Officer Marcy Noriega to trial.

The court said a jury could decide among other things that Noriega should have looked at her weapon before firing at Torres in October 2002.

The 3-0 ruling overturned a decision by a lower court, which concluded Noriega had made a reasonable mistake.

Bruce Praet, a lawyer for the city, told the San Francisco Chronicle he will likely ask the full appeals court for a rehearing.

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