Judge refuses to seal settlement amount in case against Hillsborough Heiress Tiffany Li

ByEd Walsh KGO logo
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Judge refuses to seal settlement amount in Tiffany Li trial
A judge is refusing to seal a settlement amount being paid out by Hillsborough heiress Tiffany Li to settle a wrongful death case against her.

HILLSBOROUGH, Calif. (KGO) -- A San Mateo County judge is refusing to seal a settlement amount being paid out by Hillsborough heiress Tiffany Li to settle a wrongful death case that was brought against her.

In 2019, a jury found Li not guilty of killing Keith Green, the father of her two children. The jury deadlocked on a verdict for Li's boyfriend Kaveh Bayat. He was released from jail after the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office decided not to retry him.

Li was sued for wrongful death by Green's mother, Colleen Cudd. Li agreed to settle out of court. But lawyers on both sides asked the judge to keep the amount going to the children sealed for their own protection.

RELATED: Hillsborough heiress Tiffany Li is answering questions about murder of her children's father

In a decision issued on Friday, Judge Danny Chou wrote that case law does not support keeping the settlement secret. The judge also doubted the claims by both sides that disclosing the settlement would put the children in greater jeopardy. Chou said those arguments were "belied" in Li's own declaration, in which she wrote that it was widely reported that she is from a "family of financial means, to which the minor plaintiffs directly benefit."

During a hearing on Thursday, Chou heard arguments from Cudd and Li's lawyers about sealing the settlement and listened to concerns expressed by Li's lawyers over legal fees being charged by Cudd's attorneys. But Chou said the fees charged by Cudd's lawyers were reasonable.

As previously reported, Li said she has been a victim of anti-Asian hate and xenophobia. Chou addressed that in the hearing on Thursday and in his written decision on Friday.

"The Court also has no doubt that Li has been 'the target of Asian Hate and xenophobia' and wholeheartedly agrees that this Asian hate and xenophobia is wrong and should be stopped," the judge wrote.

RELATED: Hillsborough heiress Tiffany Li says she is victim of anti-Asian hate, biased media coverage

In his written order, Chou said he would give the attorneys a chance to appeal his decision before the amount would be made public. The lawyers have 60 days to file an appeal. Li's lawyers said they planned to file an appeal but Cudd's lawyers said they would not.

As ABC7 News previously reported, Cudd will receive $100,000 from Li in the settlement with an additional $50,000 going to Green's estate which is compensation for burial and other expenses. But the expected much larger amount among going to Green and Li's two daughters was not disclosed.

Li has full custody of her two children and is living in China. The settlement amount going to her children would be handled by a neutral trustee who has the approval of both sides.

Follow for the latest on the Keith Green case.