Loveland’s $3 million among Colorado’s highest-paying settlements

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DENVER (KDVR) — More than half the time Colorado cities dole out million-dollar settlements, they go to the surviving families of wrongful death victims. Not so with Karen Garner.

The City of Loveland announced Wednesday morning that it will pay Garner $3 million to settle a claim stemming from her June 2020 arrest by officers at the Loveland Police Department.

Statewide, there have been only ten million or multimillion-dollar settlement payments issued by Colorado cities, and more typically they go to the family members of the deceased.

KDVR’s Data Desk was only able to locate five cases in which Colorado cities paid more in settlement than Garner’s $3 million, all from high-profile cases in corrections and three of which involved a death.

In 2014, Denver agreed to a record-setting $6 million settlement with the family of Marvin Booker, who died in July 2010 while he was being held in the downtown Denver detention center.

In 2017, Denver agreed to pay the family of Michael Marshall $4.65 million following a 2015 incident at the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center that resulted in his death.

Former inmate Jamal Hunter sued the city for $3.25 million after video surfaced that showed deputies beating him in his cell.

The family of Emily Rice sued the city for $3 million after she died of car-crash injuries in a holding cell. The city of Ft. Collins settled for $4.1 million with Timothy Masters, who had been wrongly jailed for murder for ten years.

Several wrongful death cases have gotten less money than Garner.

The city of Aurora paid a city record $2.6 million to the family of Naeschylus Vinzant, an unarmed black man who was shot to death by a city police officer in March 2015.

The city of Denver paid $1 million as part of a larger settlement with the family of 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez, who was fatally shot by police in 2015. Fifteen-year-old Paul Childs was killed by Denver police after threatening his family with a knife.

Outside the Denver metro, Fremont County paid Carolyn O’Neal the sum of $2.4 million in a settlement from a case dating back to May 2016.

In May 2014, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office deputies allegedly dragged O’Neal from the homeless transitional housing program facility she was residing at in Cañon City.

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