Family of Manuel Ellis reaches $4 million settlement in his death
“As always, litigation settlements are made with risk management principles in mind. We recognize that the family and friends of Manuel Ellis are grieving, and we hope this settlement will give them some measure of closure,” said Adam Faber, a spokesperson for the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
The settlement agreement means the claims against the county and the two deputies have been dropped, but the lawsuit will proceed against the other defendants.
Matthew A. Ericksen Sr., an attorney for Ellis’ mother and sister, commended Pierce County for opting to settle the lawsuit, which claimed violations of Ellis’ constitutional rights as well as assault, wrongful death, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
“We are happy to have reached this agreement with the County. Nothing about the last 2 years has been easy for the Ellis family,” Ericksen said in a statement, “but at the end of the day I commend Pierce County for making the deliberate decision to seek a compromise rather than litigating this lawsuit to the nth degree.”
“By reaching this resolution Pierce County has established a foundation upon which the Ellis family and the community can begin the process of moving forward,” he said. “At the same time, we will continue to aggressively pursue our claims against the City of Tacoma.”
Ellis died March 3, 2020, after he went to a 7-Eleven to get snacks, the family’s lawsuit says. He was walking home with a box of raspberry doughnuts and a bottle of water, the lawsuit says, when he was stopped by two Tacoma police officers.
CNN’s Jenn Selva and Jennifer Henderson contributed to this report.
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