CHINO — Family members of an innocent bystander who was shot and killed by a Chino police officer during a February shootout have filed wrongful death claims against the city.
The six claims — filed June 25 on behalf of the estate of Daniel Balandran, his parents, his girlfriend and his two children — seek unspecified damages from the city.
The claims allege that Chino police Cpl. Claudia Lisner mistakenly believed that Balandran, 23, was involved in a robbery and subsequent shootout with police at a Papa John’s restaurant on Feb. 1.
Balandran was holding an object Lisner said she couldn’t identify as he ran away from the scene of the shootout. When Balandran lifted the object, she shot him, according to police reports.
Balandran was holding food from a McDonald’s restaurant adjacent to the Central Avenue pizzeria.
After officers learned Balandran was not involved in the robbery, they failed to promptly summon medical assistance for the Rubidoux man, the claims allege.
Officers “handcuffed decedent, (and) left him to die on the pavement without medical aid,” the claims state.
The claims allege that Lisner “was unfit for her duties” at the time of the incident, and later falsified police reports in an effort to cover up her actions.
Lisner remains on paid leave, said Chino spokeswoman Michelle Van Der Linden.
Here are some pdf documents related to the case:
Chino’s city attorney, Jimmy Gutierrez, said in an interview this morning that he doesn’t believe the city is liable for Balandran’s death.
Gutierrez blamed the two alleged robbers for the killing of the bystander.
“That’s the focus — those two people that came into town intent on committing the crime and ready to use deadly force, which they did use,” Gutierrez said. “That’s what the whole circumstance is all about.”
The two alleged robbers — Edward Ramon Cisneros and Joel Anthony Jaquez — remain jailed and face murder and other charges for their alleged roles in the shootout.
The city has 45 days to respond to the family member’s claims after it receives them. If the city denies the claims, or lets the 45 days pass without response, then Balandran’s family can file lawsuits against the city in San Bernardino County Superior Court.
Gutierrez said the city will likely let the 45 days pass without response.
On March 19, the family’s attorney, Mark Algorri, asked for $19.5 million from the city to settle the claims.
Gutierrez called the figure “excessive.”
“We’re always willing to talk settlement, but when one party is unreasonable there can’t be any settlement,” Gutierrez said.
If the city settles the case, or is on the losing end of a judgement in the case, it will be forced to pay only the first $500,000 of any judgement, said Mayor Dennis Yates.
Any amount in excess of $500,000 will be paid by the city’s insurer, AIG, Yates said.
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