$25 Million Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Fatal California Motorcycle Accident

The wife of a Hawthorne, California motorcycle police officer who was killed while on duty has filed $25 million lawsuit against the cities of El Seguno and Manhattan Beach.

Tracy Garton has filed the lawsuit stemming from the death of her husband, Andrew Garton.  His death occurred while he was assisting a funeral procession, in which he and another police officer the city of El Segundo, Sgt. Rex Fowler, collided.  The fatal collision happened during the May 26 funeral escort for Manhattan Beach Police Officer Mark Vasquez.

During the fatal collision, which happened at Hawthorn Boulevard and 227th Street in Torrance, Garton, 44, was thrown onto a vehicle in oncoming traffic.  He died from his injuries later that day.  Sgt. Rex Fowler suffered a broken leg.

Excerpts from the November 25 Contra Costa Times article titled “Wife of Hawthorne officer killed in motorcycle accident files $25 million claims” :

Tracy Garton claims that the negligent and reckless actions of both police departments and municipalities in organizing and operating the procession in May led to her husband’s death.


In Tracy Garton’s claim, filed Nov. 4 also on behalf of her young sons, Garrett and Grant, she alleges the city of El Segundo “negligently, carelessly and recklessly” controlled and monitored the motorcycle driven by Fowler, causing Garton’s death.

“Rex Fowler was acting in the course and scope of his employment … and was negligent in driving his motorcycle in such a manner as to injure and kill (Garton),” the claim reads. “The city of El Segundo was negligent in hiring, training and supervising Rex Fowler and this negligence led to (Garton’s) injuries and untimely death.”


In both claims, Garton notes that the cities’ responsibility in her husband’s death caused the loss of her husband’s love, companionship, financial support and other benefits.

One of Garton’s attorneys said the $25 million estimate of damages incurred approximates other awards given in similar wrongful death cases.

Additional details and possible updates can be found in the aforementioned Contra Costa Times article.


Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC concentrates in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases involving vehicle accidents (car, motorcycle, bike, bus, pedestrian, truck, etc.) This intense focus allows us to consistently achieve winning verdicts and settlements for our clients.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an accident, call 773-392-8182 at any time for a free consultation to discuss your rights. There is no fee for this consultation.