How Much Should Orange County Pay For This Tragic Case of Mistaken Identity?

Orange County officials have accepted blame for a tragic case of mistaken identity that led a family to burry another’s dead son. The details surrounding a payout, however, will be much trickier for all parties involved.

The county already paid the family of Frank M. Kerrigan $20,559 to cover the funeral expenses they incurred. But the family also wants compensation for emotion distress (they were led to believe their son was dead when he was alive and well).

County Counsel Leon Page said the county has “a fiduciary duty to protect taxpayer money from exorbitant, exaggerated, and unsupported demands.” That makes the emotional damages difficult to agree on.

“In the event the County is ultimately unable to settle these claims, the County has confidence that a jury will be able to determine the appropriate amount needed here to fully compensate the claimants for their losses.”

Learn more about the discussions here. For a background on the case, read this CountyNews article from July


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