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Judge denies motion to unseal Victor White settlement amount

Posted: 2:49 PM, Sep 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-05 15:54:05-04
Victor White III
Victor White III

The settlement amount paid to the young child of Victor White III will remain secret, a federal judge has ruled.

Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna said in a 23-page ruling that “the minor child’s privacy interest outweighs the public’s right to know the amount paid to settle the case.”

Capital City Press, parent company to The Advocate, and KATC Communications had asked a judge to unseal the settlement delivered in a federal wrongful-death lawsuit over White’s death.

White died from a gunshot wound while handcuffed in the back of an Iberia Parish Sheriff car. His death sparked controversy over the official line that he died from suicide.

The Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association provided insurance to the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office at the time of White’s death and paid for the settlement. The settlement amount was recorded on audio, and another magistrate judge placed it under seal.

Hanna said that because both parties requested that the record be sealed, “there may be no basis” for a judge “to step in and alter the parties’ agreement.”

Hanna also said the audio recording is not subject to public-records law.

Hanna issued the ruling on Friday.