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$200,000 Settlement Given to Family of California Man Who Died of Heart Failure in Pretrial Custody

by Christopher Zoukis

Jorge Osvaldo Cottini, who was being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles pending trial, died of heart problems after allegedly being denied his prescribed heart medication, leading to a $200,000 settlement for his parents.

     On January 16, 2009, Cottini, who had a history of heart problems, experienced chest pains and difficulty breathing while in custody at the detention center. Since he entered the center on October 21, 2008, his repeated requests to obtain his prescribed heart medications were denied. He was sent to the hospital and died two days later.

     On January 14, 2010, Cottini's parents, Carlos and Elvira Cottini, filed a complaint in federal court against the detention center's warden, Michael Benov, Health Services Administrator Carlos Deveza and Clinical Director Alexander Sinavsky, M.D., along with the United States and 50 unnamed individuals. The Cottinis argued that the defendants willfully and/or neglectfully denied their son essential medication, leading to his wrongful death. They also alleged that the defendants' failure to take reasonable steps to address Cottini's medical needs violated his civil rights.

     On March 13, 2012, the Cottinis accepted a settlement of $200,000 in exchange for dismissal of all claims.

 See: Cottini, et al., v. United States of America, et al., United States District Court for the Central District of California, 2:10-cv-00294-RGK-AJW (Mar. 13, 2012)

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Related legal case

Cottini, et al., v. United States of America, et al.