When someone is in police custody, detained for possibly committing a crime, due process needs to happen. The person needs to go before a judge to be released on bond and await their trial. We believe in this due process, but when the police have someone in custody, and it results in their death, the police department needs to be held accountable. The wrongful death lawyers at JML want to talk about a recent event that resulted in a large settlement awarded to a family when their loved one was abandoned in a cell during a crisis and left to die.
In 2017, Phillip Garcia, age 51, died in a secure detention unit at the Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley. According to reports, he died after being held in restraints for more than 20 hours while experiencing a mental health crisis. He was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his 87-year-old roommate—according to reports, he was acting erratically, smashing windows, yelling profanity and slurs.
He spent over 18 hours of isolation, and then when he damaged his cell, he was restrained. The police did not request medical care, nor did he receive any mental health support. Video shows him begging for someone to help him after police used a stinger grenade to restrain him. He spent 12 hours of those hours strapped to a gurney because the hospital had no room. He spent those hours trying to break free, and eventually, he died rhabdomyolysis, a life-threatening illness brought by overexertion.
His death was ruled a homicide by officials.
In June 2019, his family was awarded $975,000 for his wrongful death. No deputies or officers were reprimanded for this negligence.
When someone responsible and has authority makes terrible decisions over and over that lead to the death of a loved one, there are so many questions that go unanswered. At JML Law, our wrongful death lawyers want to help the victim’s loved ones who have experienced a tragedy that should have been prevented. We want to speak with you immediately to help you through this ordeal.
The family members of the victim in a wrongful death have to deal with such problems such as:
If somebody you love has been the victim of a wrongful death caused by someone’s careless and negligent actions in the Riverside area, please contact us immediately. Please call as soon as possible because the statute of limitations on wrongful death is only two years, and we know you do not want the time to run out before we can help. We pledge to conduct a thorough and full investigation into your claim so we can secure the compensation you desperately need. This can include: