Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

$12,000 Paid by Santa Clara County to Disabled Prisoner Who Suffered Seizure and Fell from Top Bunk, Permanently Injuring His Wrist

By Chuck Sharman

A settlement was fully executed on August 19, 2020, by Santa Clara County, California, in which it agreed to pay $12,000 to a prisoner at the county jail who, despite a history of seizures, was assigned to a top bunk, from which he fell during a seizure and suffered permanent wrist injury.

The prisoner, Pavel I. Shirokikh, was booked into the county lockup on September 7, 2017. At intake, he reported to staff that he suffered a seizure disorder. He requested a bottom bunk for fear of falling from a top bunk if he had a seizure, but that request was denied. Luckily for him, he was released the next day.

But he returned to custody at the jail just over three months later, on December 12, 2017. Again he advised staff during intake that he suffered seizures and needed a bottom bunk. Again his request was ignored, and he was placed in a top bunk.

Just over three weeks later, on January 7, 2018, Shirokikh’s worst fears were realized when he suffered a seizure and fell from his top bunk, hitting a metal table on his way down. He suffered injuries to his hip and one foot, and his right wrist was also fractured. Nevertheless, his request for medical treatment was denied—for three days—leaving his wrist with permanent damage.

Over the remainder of the month, Shirokikh exhausted the jail’s grievance process without getting any relief. Finally, he filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on January 31, 2019, accusing the county and its jail staff of negligence and deliberate indifference to his medical needs, as well as a failure to provide accommodations he was guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq.

The county responded on August 26, 2019, denying the allegations. The parties then proceeded to reach their settlement agreement. Shirokikh was represented in his suit by Oakland attorney Glenn Katon. 

See: Shirokikh v. Santa Clara Cnty., USDC (N.D.Ca.), Case No. 5:19-cv-00575.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Shirokikh v. Santa Clara Cnty.