The mother of an actor who appeared on the hit series “ER” and was killed in 2018 during an interaction with police in California has now reached a settlement with city officials in the lawsuit she filed on behalf of her daughter.
Delia McElfresh, the mother of Vanessa Marquez, settled with the city of South Pasadena, California settled the wrongful death case with a mutually agreed-upon amount of $450,000, which will come from the city’s risk pool, NBC News reports. Diana Mahmud, mayor of South Pasadena, said in a statement obtained by the network that the settlement was made “in order to save the parties the costs associated with protracted litigation,” according to the outlet.
Marquez was fatally shot by police at her home following a welfare check in August 2018. In their release on the subject, the South Pasadena Police Department said that a “confrontation” took place, which led to an “officer-involved shooting.” She had been having seizures, and at some point allegedly brandished a BB gun at officers. Authorities claimed that it looked like a gun, according to an earlier NBC News report.
Marquez’s mother filed a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit in February 2019, the Pasadena Star-News reported. Police officers, as well as a mental health professional, had been called to perform a wellness check on the 49-year-old, who had various chronic illnesses. Lawyers for McElfresh said that those involved mishandled the situation, leading to Marquez’s death.
“Mrs. Marquez’ death was the result of the officers’ negligence, poor tactics, overreaction and use of excessive force under the circumstances,” the suit reportedly states.
Authorities tried to remove Marquez from her home against her will, in an encounter that was “militaristic, menacing, and threatening,” the claim also states, according to NBC News.
However, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, who was tasked with investigating the killing, ruled in March that the officers involved in the shooting were justified in their actions and opted not to pursue any charges, NBC News reports.
In response to the recent settlement, Mahmud said in a statement, “Any loss of life is tragic,” according to Deadline.
During her acting career, Marquez appeared in 27 episodes of the smash hit hospital drama “ER” in a recurring role as Nurse Wendy Goldman, in addition to appearing in the 1988 drama "Stand and Deliver." She claimed in 2017 that her former co-worker, actor George Clooney, helped to “blacklist” her when she spoke out about harassment on the "ER" set, according to Deadline. Clooney denied the claims, stating that he did not have the power to blacklist anyone and would not do so even if he did.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.