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$2,350,000 Settlement in Florida Jail Prisoner's Restraint Chair Death

The prisoner in this case was 39 years old when he was arrested in
Florida's Osceola County for aggravated assault with a firearm and
discharge of a firearm in public. During the incident leading to his
arrest, the prisoner was acting in a psychologically unstable manner.
Rather than have him placed in isolation or transported to a medical center
for a psychological evaluation, the prisoner was placed in the Osceola
County Jail's general population.

The day after his arrest, March 5, 1997, the prisoner shoved a guard.
Guards then beat the prisoner for 45 minutes, dragging him from his cell
with his bloody shirt over his head and his pants around his knees. He was
than placed in a restraint chair.

Guards, however, continued to beat the prisoner. One guard placed a towel
over the prisoner's mouth and chin, hyperextending the prisoner's head over
the back of the chair. This cause a brain stem injury and internal
bleeding. Despite turning blue and the prisoner having a broken nose, jail
nurses stood by watching.

The prisoner died from his injuries while awaiting medical emergency
personnel from outside the jail to arrive. Prior to trial , the County
Sheriff, and nurses settled the claim of excessive force, wrongful death
for $2,350,000 in June, 1998. Three of the guards involved were later
criminally charged with the prisoner's death. See: Sagers v. Osceola
County, USDC, MD FL, Case No 97-1105-Civ-ORL-18/G.

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Related legal case

Sagers v. Osceola County