Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP attorneys Adam Shea, Nicholas Yoka, Spencer Lucas, and Ryan Casey have obtained an $8,000,000 settlement for the Elisa and Cristobal Guardado, the parents of 18-year-old Andrés Guardado who was fatally shot multiple times by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Miguel Vega in June 2020. The settlement was unanimously approved today by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
“It is difficult to imagine anything worse than losing one’s child, yet Elisa and Cristobal remain hopeful that Andrés’ death will not have been in vain – that somehow through this tragedy, their loss can spark change in a department that is in such great need of change,” said attorney Nicholas Yoka. “The civil justice system has done its part, now the family waits on the criminal justice system.”
On June 18, 2020, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Miguel Vega and his partner Deputy Chris Hernandez pulled up to Andrés’ place of employment in Gardena, California. For no justifiable or necessary reason, the deputies abruptly jumped out of their vehicle and aggressively approached Andrés with guns drawn as he was talking to two women near the front of the business complex. As Andrés walked away, the deputies chased him with their guns drawn, and then shot him in the back multiple times. Andrés never posed an immediate risk to the deputies, or any other person, and the deputies had no reason to believe Andrés was a threat to anyone.
Officials with the FBI and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office have not yet concluded their investigation and/or disclosed their findings as to whether Deputy Vega and/or Deputy Hernandez were within policy for their use of deadly force or if they will be disciplined and/or criminally charged for their actions.
“While the settlement reached with the County of Los Angeles brings closure to more than two years of the civil lawsuit, it does not bring with it peace to our family or justice for our son, Andrés,” said Cristobal Guardado. “Peace and justice will only come when the current investigations are completed, and Deputy Miguel Vega is held criminally responsible for Andrés’ death. We will forever be grateful to our attorneys, our community, and to all of those people who have raised their voices as advocates for justice for Andrés.”