Greensboro City Attorney Chuck Watts announced a settlement agreement in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Marcus Deon Smith at the Tuesday, Feb. 1 City Council meeting.
After meeting for about 30 minutes, the City Council went into closed session for about half an hour, and after the council came back into open session, Mayor Nancy Vaughan asked Watts to make a statement.
Watts said, “I have a joint statement by the City of Greensboro and Mary and George Smith regarding the agreement to settle the lawsuit.
“The City of Greensboro and the family of Marcus Deon Smith have reached an agreement to resolve the lawsuit brought by the estate of Marcus Deon Smith. Importantly to these parties the total settlement of $2,570,000, the majority of which will be paid by the City of Greensboro and the remainder by Guilford County will financially benefit both the parents of March Deon Smith and his children and will formerly acknowledge with a commemorative plaque that Marcus Deon Smith’s life mattered.
“These parties will soon request judicial approval of the settlement and dismissal of the lawsuit without any findings of wrongdoing or liability. After the settlement is concluded these parties intend to move forward in a spirit of respect and reconciliation.”
Watts also advised city councilmembers that it would be inappropriate to comment on the settlement until it is approved by the courts.
He said that the settlement agreement would have to be reduced to a long form settlement agreement and approved by the court where the case was brought and by the estate court.
Marcus Deon Smith died on Sept. 8, 2018, after being restrained by Greensboro police officers with a Ripp Hobble device that binds a person’s hands and feet behind them in a manner commonly called “hogtying.” The Greensboro Police Department has since stopped using the Ripp Hobble restraint.
Smith died of cardiopulmonary arrest. The medical examiner listed his death as a homicide and the Ripp Hobble device as a contributing factor.
The parents of Marcus Deon Smith filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Greensboro, the police officers involved in the incident and Guilford County and the emergency medical technicians who were involved.