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Q & A Regarding the Settlement with Cathy Thomas

Q: Has the City of Fullerton settled a claim filed by Cathy Thomas, mother of Kelly Thomas?

A: Yes.  Based on a voluntary, non-binding mediation and a proposal made by the mediator, the two sides reached an agreement.

Q: How much is the settlement with Cathy Thomas?

A: The City’s settlement with Cathy Thomas is for $1 million, which will be paid from the City’s insurance reserves.  In exchange for this payment, Ms. Thomas will release the City and its police officers from all potential claims she has arising from the death of her son, Kelly Thomas.

Q: Why has the city settled before the outcome of the trial of the officers facing criminal charges of filing of a lawsuit by Ms. Thomas?

A: Settlement discussions were initiated by Counsel for Ms. Thomas.  Resolution of the claim at this time allows her to begin the healing process and avoid what would likely be a protracted, expensive and difficult civil litigation.

Q: By settling does this mean that the city accepts responsibility for the death of Kelly Thomas?

A: No.  This settlement was reached without a finding or admission of liability.

Q: How was the settlement value determined?

A: Mr. Andrew Albert, a mediator selected by Ms. Thomas and the City, facilitated settlement discussions between Ms. Thomas and the City.  Prior to becoming a professional mediator, Mr. Albert served the legal community as a private civil litigator representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide array of cases.  After lengthy discussions and consideration of the issues in this matter, Mr. Albert made a proposal to Ms. Thomas and the City that both elected to accept.

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