The City of South Pasadena, California has reached a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit of actress Vanessa Marquez. The ER star was shot and killed my police officers in her home after a wellness check went wrong when cops believed she had a gun.

Delia McElfresh, mother of Marquez and the one who filed the suit, mutually agreed to a settlement with South Pasadena of $450,000, “in order to save the parties the costs associated with protracted litigation,” said Diana Mahmud, South Pasadena Mayor, in a statement.

McElfresh filed the lawsuit last summer in Los Angeles Superior Court against the city of South Pasadena, the former chief of police and the officers involved in the death of her daughter.

Marquez died on August 20, 2018 after a friend called the South Pasadena Fire Department because the actress was having a seizure, according to the suit.

“Even though the call was for medical assistance and specifically requested respond by paramedics with the South Pasadena Fire Department, several fully armed police officers” responded instead. The suit alleged that one of the officers “false claimed Ms. Marquez pointed a gun at him and then herself.” The “gun” was later identified as a a BB gun.

“Their armed presence, coupled with the attempted removal of Ms. Marquez from her home against her will, was militaristic, menacing and threatening response to a frail and visibly debilitated woman who was exercising her right to remain in her home,” the suit said. “Ms. Marquez’s death was the result of overreaction, excessive use of force and gross mishandling of the situation.”

In March 2020, the Los Angels County District Attorney’s Office did not pursue criminal charges against the officers involved in the shooting.

Marquez’s most notable acting credits included her recurring role on the medical series ER and in the 1988 film, Stand and Deliver.


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