Berta Ray Lee was a 27-year-old mother of three minor children, ages five, seven and nine. She was arrested on December 17, 2004 in Portland, Oregon for prostitution and confined in the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC).
During booking, Lee told jail staff she was bipolar and had attempted suicide ten times. Yet she was not medicated or properly monitored. As a result, on December 20, 2004, she twisted a sheet around her neck, strangling herself to death.
Lee’s estate sued the County in state court for failing to medicate or properly monitor her. The estate sought damages of $2 million for past and future wages, burial expenses and general damages. On March 14, 2008, however, the suit settled for a mere $59,422.
Portland attorney Paul Sherman represented Lee’s estate. See: Frampton as Personal Representative for the Estate of Berta Ray Lee v. Multnomah County, Mult. County Circuit Court No. 0612-13216.
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Related legal case
Frampton as Personal Representative for the Estate of Berta Ray Lee v. Multnomah County
|Mult. County Circuit Court No. 0612-13216
|State Trial Court