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$42,000 Verdict in Iowa Jail Excessive Force Case

A federal jury has awarded $42,000 to a woman who was placed in a restraint chair for seven hours. On January 25, 2006, while incarcerated at the Scott County Jail in Scott County, Iowa, Lillian Slater had a painful flare-up of her Sickle Cell Anemia.

Rather than provide Slater with appropriate medical care, guards at the jail placed Slater in a restraint chair for at least seven hours.

Slater sued Scott County, the Sheriff, and several guards claiming deliberate indifference and use of excessive force. According to Slater’s complaint, the use of excessive force and deliberate indifference were part of an official custom or policy at the jail, and resulted from inadequate training.

On April 23, 2010, a jury trial in the matter resulted in findings of liability against Greg Goudet and William Lomba, two guards involved in the excessive force, and against Scott County on Slater’s failure to train claim. The jury awarded Slater $35,000 in damages for the excessive force, and $3,500 in punitive damages against Gaudet and Lomba each.

Slater was represented by Mark Reyes Loevy of Loevy & Loevy, a Chicago, Illinois firm. See: Slater v. Scott County, No. 3:07-CV-00125-JAJ-TJS (D. Iowa 2010). As this issue of PLN goes to press the court has not yet ruled on the plaintiff’s motion for attorney fees.

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Related legal case

Slater v. Scott County