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Paul Kiesel Secures Record $16.5 Million Against Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

Paul Kiesel Secures Record $16.5 Million Lawsuit Against Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

Kiesel Law LLP client Timothy Neal was paralyzed after a LA Sheriff’s Department Deputy shot him in the back on July 26, 2019. The firm is pleased to announce the successful resolution of this LASD lawsuit via a settlement reached by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The settlement, approved by the county board, amounts to a record-breaking $16.5 million. 

Here is additional information regarding the incident, the LASD lawsuit, and the settlement:

On July 26, 2019, Timothy Neal, a Harvard University graduate who has struggled with schizophrenia since his diagnosis in 2018, suffered life-altering consequences when he was shot in the back by a Deputy inside his bedroom at his family’s residence in Malibu. Mr. Neal, in the throes of paranoid schizophrenia at the time, was in his locked bedroom. The deputies forcibly entered his room using a sledgehammer and shot him in the back while he was trying to run from them. As a result of this incident, Timothy Neal will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Paul R. Kiesel, who represented Mr. Neal, said, “Tim Neal’s settlement with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department needs to be a wake-up call for how law enforcement responds to mental health crises.”

The litigation was centered around allegations of civil rights violations, excessive force, and insufficient training of Sheriff’s Deputies in handling mental health situations. In an emotional statement, Mr. Neal expressed his hope that this devastating event would catalyze overdue changes in law enforcement’s approach to mental health crises. He emphasized that these incidents should be treated as illnesses, not crimes, advocating for better understanding, empathy, and support for those experiencing mental health challenges.

Despite the gravity of the situation, the District Attorney’s Office declined to pursue criminal charges against the deputy responsible for the shooting, ruling that the use of force was lawful, given the circumstances. The settlement amount takes into account the substantial medical expenses Mr. Neal will incur throughout his lifetime, considering both past and future medical needs.

This precedent-setting settlement, approved as part of a broader effort to resolve five cases against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, marks a significant step forward in addressing the critical issues surrounding the intersection of law enforcement and mental health crises.

About Kiesel Law LLP

Kiesel Law LLP is a distinguished law firm in Beverly Hills with a proven track record of handling complex civil rights cases, and advocating for justice and accountability. The firm’s team of  experienced attorneys is committed to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, obtaining notable results in high-profile cases that impact communities and bring about positive change. 

The resulting settlement from the LASD lawsuit is just one of many examples of the Kiesel team fighting for justice. You can find more information on other cases and settlements by visiting our news page.