Settlement Reached in Dirty DUI Claim

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A tentative settlement of a lawsuit over a dirty DUI sting in the Bay Area has been reached between a winery owner, a sheriff’s deputy and a private investigator.
     Contra Costa County sheriff’s Officer Stephen Tanabe was accused in a 2011 lawsuit of helping private investigator Christopher Butler set up a sting on Mitchell Katz, who claimed that his ex-wife had hired Butler to help her in divorce proceedings.
     Complicating the legal mess was a 2013 lawsuit from William Howard, a former reserve deputy sheriff, who claimed the sheriff’s department demoted, ostracized and fired him for speaking up about the sting operation.
     U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on Friday dismissed Katz’s lawsuit with prejudice.
     Katz’s attorney Brian Gearinger said he cannot speak about the settlement yet, as Tanabe has not yet formally consented to it.
     Gearinger said he expects the settlement to be complete by Oct. 9.
     
     Death by Eviction Claim Needs More Proof
     Elizabeth Warmerdam
     FRESNO, Calif. (CN) – A daughter must provide more evidence that Wells Fargo Bank’s eviction killed her mother by making her unable to plug in the oxygen concentrator she needed to breathe, a federal judge ruled.
     But U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley ruled Friday that Brooke Noble can amend her claims for involuntary manslaughter, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress against the bank.
     Noble sued Wells Fargo in October 2014, claiming the bank violated state orders when it locked her mother out of her home in May 2013 during foreclosure. Her mother, Marsha Kilgore, died on Oct. 16, 2013, “from inability to breathe ,” Noble said.
     Noble says the bank knew her mother needed an oxygen concentrator that had to be plugged in. Without the oxygen and due to the stress of being locked out of her home, Kilgore’s condition rapidly deteriorated and she died, Noble says.
     But Nunley found that Noble did not provide enough facts to show “a causal link between the eviction and the death.”
     “Ms. Kilgore passed away more than five months after the eviction. The court deems it too attenuated to conclude that being evicted five months previous was the cause of death. Furthermore, there are insufficient facts to suggest that defendant could have foreseen that the act of eviction had a high degree of risk of death or great bodily harm,” Nunley wrote.
     Accepting the facts as presented “would create liability for any accident that may occur after an eviction,” Nunley said.
     He gave her 21 days from Sept. 24 to amend the complaint to support the link between the eviction and her mother’s death.
     Attorneys did not return requests for comment.

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