Woman Sues LAPD After Falling from Patrol Car

The 27-year-old said she still may need brain surgery.

By Brandon Lowrey and Kathy Vara
|  Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013  |  Updated 10:34 AM CDT
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A 27 year old woman is suing the city of Los Angeles, LAPD, and two officers after she fell from a police car. Her attorneys argue that the officers failed to secure the woman in the car. Now, she wants the LAPD to pay for her injuries. Kathy Vara reports from Downtown Los Angeles for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Sept, 2, 2013.

Kathy Vara

A 27 year old woman is suing the city of Los Angeles, LAPD, and two officers after she fell from a police car. Her attorneys argue that the officers failed to secure the woman in the car. Now, she wants the LAPD to pay for her injuries. Kathy Vara reports from Downtown Los Angeles for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Sept, 2, 2013.

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A woman is suing the Los Angeles Police Department after she suffered critical injuries in March when she fell out of a moving patrol car.

Kim Nguyen, 27, and her attorneys said officers are at fault because after arresting her on suspicion of public intoxication, they failed to secure her with a seat belt and did not use an outside lock on the door.

Nguyen was in a medically induced coma after the fall, and still suffers complications from a broken jaw and brain injuries she received.

LAPD officials declined to comment on the case, saying they don't comment on ongoing litigation.

In March, Nguyen was waiting for a designated driver in a Koreatown restaurant when police arrested her, according to her attorney, Arnoldo Casillas.

She never made it to the police station, her attorney said.

Nguyen, still handcuffed, fell out of the patrol car near the intersection of Grand Avenue and Olympic Boulevard (map), suffering serious injuries.

A Fire Department report showed that officers claimed she fell after the patrol car stopped at a light and began accelerating. A security camera video apparently contradicts that account, Casillas said.

"The video shows that the statement that the police officers gave the paramedics is an unabashed, unequivocal lie," Casillas said. "The light's green. They do not stop."

Nguyen, a Loyola Marymount University accounting and marketing graduate student at the time of the incident, said she still might have to have brain surgery as a result of the fall.

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