June 26, 2017 06:34 PM
The mother of Philando Castile has reached a nearly $3 million dollar settlement, according to an announcement Monday by her attorneys and the city of St. Anthony.
The quick action comes less than two weeks after a jury acquitted former St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez for shooting and killing Valerie Castile's son.
The settlement to be paid to Valerie Castile will avoid a federal wrongful death lawsuit stemming from Philando Castile's death. It requires approval by a state court, which could take several weeks.
Woodbury trial attorney Bill Harper isn't involved in the settlement, but he told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS a civil lawsuit could have lasted more than a year.
"Resolving it early makes a whole lot of sense both for the family and for the city in terms of putting it behind them and going forward as a community to heal," Harper said. "Three million dollars is reasonable because the one thing that feeds damages is anger, and there could be a lot of anger generated by the plaintiffs in this case."
Harper said the burden of proof in a civil trial is much lower than a criminal one, so the city of Saint Anthony had more to lose if it went to court.
"Could it have been more than $10 million? Absolutely," Harper said.
The settlement will be paid by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, which holds the insurance policy for the city of St. Anthony.
Valerie Castile said she will use the settlement to continue the work of the nonprofit foundation she started in her son's name. It helps victims of gun violence and provides relief for the grieving.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Updated: June 26, 2017 06:34 PM
Created: June 26, 2017 05:39 PM
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