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$900,000 Settlement in California Alcoholic's Jail Death From "DTs"

The County of San Joaquin agreed to pay $550,000, and the City of Lodi, California, $350,000, in a March, 2003 settlement of the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint by the surviving children of a 31 year-old detainee with a long history of alcoholism, who died in jail for want of medical attention in a delerium tremens (DTs) related fall in August, 1999. The complaint charged violation of the prisoner's civil rights and the knowing failure to provide him medical care.

Anthony Lumley, who had no prior criminal record, was arrested on DUI and weapons charges and taken to San Joaquin County Jail, where his blood alcohol level was determined to be 0.25%. Forty hours later, he was taken to the Lodi City Jail pending arraignment, where he fell during an alcoholism blackout, struck his head, and died from an intercranial hemorrhage.

Lumley's two young children, represented by San Francisco attorney B. Mark Fong, sued in U.S. District Court for damages resulting from the violation of Lumley's civil rights and the knowing failure to summon him medical care pursuant to California Government Code § 845.6. Plaintiffs' allegations were that jail staff had been told Lumley was an alcoholic subject to delerium tremens seizures, was presently in alcoholic withdrawal, and needed medical help. However, jail staff, who knew this was a potentially fatal condition, never provided Lumley with medical staff attention. This failure gave rise to the cause of action.

Retired U.S. District Court Judge Raul Ramirez conducted a three day mediation of the children's claims for the death of their father, resulting in the $900,000 settlement. See: Leveille, et al. v. County of San Joaquin, et al., USDC EDCA. Case No. CVS 001729 DFL.

Source: Verdictsearch

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Related legal case

Leveille v. County of San Joaquin