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Oregon Suicide Death Suit Settled for $59,422

Multnomah County, Oregon, officials paid $59,422 to settle a lawsuit brought by the estate of a woman who committed suicide in jail.

Berta Ray Lee, 27, was the mother of three young children, ages 5, 7, and 9 years of age when she was arrested for prostitution on December 20, 2004.

During booking, Lee disclosed that she was bipolar and had attempted suicide ten times. On Lee's third day in jail she was found hanging by a sheet around her neck. Efforts to revive her were unsuccessful.

Lee's estate brought suit against the County, alleging that in light of the history Lee reported, jail officials should have monitored her and treated her mental illness with medication. The suit sought $2 million in damages but on March 14, 2008, Lee's estate accepted $59,422 to settle the action.

Source: Jury Verdicts Northwest Inc.

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