LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Family of powerful entertainment attorney killed in a crash with a sheriff’s deputy will forge ahead with plans to sue the county despite the fact the Los Angeles County prosecutors declined to file charges in the case.
Milton Everett Olin Jr., formerly a COO at Napster, then 65, was killed while riding his bicycle in Calabasas on Dec. 8, 2013.
“The county has acknowledged that Deputy (Andrew) Wood was driving while distracted,” said attorney Bruce Broillet, who represents the Olin family.
In a statement, Broillet said: “The Olin family intends to move forward with their lawsuit to hold the county, the Sheriff’s Department and Deputy Wood accountable through the civil justice system.”
Citing “insufficient evidence,” the DA’s office announced Wednesday it would not file charges against Wood, who was using a mobile digital computer at the time of the crash.
“Wood briefly took his eyes away from the road precisely when the narrow roadway curved slightly to the left without prior warning, causing him to inadvertently travel straight into the bike lane, immediately striking” Olin, who was riding eastbound in the bicycle lane on Mulholland Highway shortly after 1 p.m., according to a charge evaluation worksheet.
The DA’s Office said Wood was acting in official county business at the time he was using the electronic device and not texting or making a personal phone call. Prosecutors said there was no evidence he was doing anything unprofessional.
CBS2’s Kristine Lazar reported a detailed timeline of the deputy’s cellphone usage before the crash, minutes before he had been texting his wife. Lazar also reported how fast the vehicle was going moments before impact.
Olin’s family sued the county July 16, alleging wrongful death and claiming the deputy was negligent. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Broillet called the refusal to file charges an example of “the government protecting its own despite its behavior.”
“That is why it is so important that we have an independent civil jury that demands public entities answer to incidents of wrongdoing,” Broillet said.
Family member said Thursday despite the Sheriff’s Department’s Traffic Services Detail investigating the crash for eight months, it has yet to release findings to the them.
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