The 4th District Court of Appeal affirmed a $6.4 million judgment against the County of San Diego for the negligence of its sheriff’s deputies and jail nurses that resulted in permanent brain injuries to a 30-year-old Encinitas man.
David Collins was taken away and arrested by sheriff’s deputies before he was evaluated by paramedics for hallucinations, slurred speech, and stumbling. Despite his condition, which was caused by severely low blood sodium, he was arrested for public intoxication and jailed, where he subsequently fell and struck his head. Medical care was not summoned for over 12 hours. Mr. Collins had both a brain bleed from the fall and metabolic injury to his brain.
In November of 2019, a jury awarded David Collins $12.6 million. The trial judge reduced the verdict due to the caps on medical negligence claims against the jail nurses and offsets for previous settlement with other defendants. The County appealed, arguing in part that the deputies had probable cause to arrest Mr. Collins and that the jail nurses were not negligent.
The three-justice panel rejected the County’s arguments and unanimously affirmed the judgment. The full opinion, certified for publication, can be found here.
We at Vaage Law are hopeful that this decision will prompt the County to implement changes to its policies related to how sheriff’s deputies and jail personnel, including medical personnel, assess and treat members of the public.
If you or a loved one have suffered injury due to another’s negligence, contact us at (619) 338-0505 to set up a free case review. We are known for representing victims in highly complex injury cases, and go to great lengths to obtain the best outcome for our clients.
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