Wrongful Death Suit Filed Over Death of 'ER' Actress Vanessa Marquez by Her Mother

June 25, 2020

Vanessa Marquez is best known for her role as nurse Wendy Goldman on the NBC drama “ER.” But in August of 2018, the actress was shot and killed by police in South Pasadena. Now, her mother, Delia McElfresh, is filing a wrongful death lawsuit on her daughter's behalf.

The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. The suit claims that officers came to Marquez's home after a friend asked paramedics for a welfare check. The paramedics brought the South Pasadena police officers, who then opted to disregard the decision that Marquez had a right to refuse to be taken to the hospital and instead created a confrontation that led to her death, the suit states.

Officials at the time told CNN they were called to Marquez’s home and found her having a seizure and possibly suffering from mental issues. The lawsuit disputes that.

"This is exactly the kind of lethal and unnecessary police action that has led so many in the country to call out for police reform,'' Vicki I. Sarmiento, a civil rights attorney specializing in police cases said. "This was a situation in which Ms. Marquez was in her home minding her own business and instead of receiving assistance from medical professionals, she was shot to death.''

According to the officers after trying to offer Marquez medical help, she armed herself with what investigators later learned was a BB gun, and officers opened fire in self-defense, and shot Marquez to death.

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