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Attorneys Representing Dog Attack Victims Across Texas

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for dog bite injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by animal attacks.

Posts Tagged ‘Lawsuit’

A Judge Hears a Motion in Death of Dennis Grigsby, who was Allegedly Shot by Police in Texarkana, Texas

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Texarkana, Texas, Police (Photo Labeled for Reuse)

On December 15, 2014, 35-year-old Dennis Grigsby Jr., who was an African American with a history of schizophrenia, was allegedly fatally shot by a Texarkana, Texas, police officer as he stood in a neighbor’s garage holding a spoon. On August 9, 2017, in Texarkana, a federal judge heard a motion in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Grigsby’s family. The family alleges that excessive force was used against Grigsby. A grand jury in Bowie County did not indict the police officer who allegedly fired the single shot in the chest, which was a fatal wound. The motion being considered this week was a request for a dismissal of the case. During the hearing, an audio recording from the officer’s body microphone was played

The family is questioning such things as why he did not inform Grigsby that he was a police officer and why he didn’t park his vehicle in a way that he could illuminate the garage with the headlights. In answer, the officer did not take these actions because he was avoiding endangering himself.

The officer also points out that the neighbors who called the police said they heard moans and said someone was tapping on their window. The officer said he felt that it may not be a burglary but a different type of situation

The judge announced that recommendations and a report about this alleged fatal police shooting should be forthcoming within a few weeks.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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The Family of Devin Jaros Sues the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office and Others over His Suicide

Friday, August 4th, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On September 17, 2016, 19-year-old Devin Jaros was discovered hanging in a LaSalle County jail cell in Illinois. Jaros had been incarcerated for less than a day when the suicide occurred. He was transported to a nearby hospital, and he died two days later after being taken off of life support. Physicians had informed the family that his brain would not recover. The Peoria County Coroner, Johnna L. Ingersoll, performed the autopsy. Ingersoll said the cause of death was lack of oxygen to the brain due to hanging. In late July 2017, news was released regarding complaints filed by Jaros’ family. In a civil rights suit, they are suing the sheriff, two deputies, and the county sheriff’s office. In federal court, they have filed a wrongful death complaint. They seek compensation plus legal fees, and the family demands a trial by jury.

Jaros had been arrested on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated fleeing and eluding. The family alleges that Jaros was deprived intentionally of his constitutional rights to equal protection and due process. They also claim that the county and named officers displayed indifference to his medical needs. The family alleges that the correctional officers failed to check on the well-being of detainees that night. They also claim that deputies were guided to engage in illegal activities, due to alleged tolerating, institutionalizing, and authorizing by the sheriff or county.

Many high-profile inmate suicide cases and police shootings of unarmed individuals have resulted in large settlement amounts with various counties across the country. For example, a family was awarded nearly $8 million after an ex-Marine committed suicide by hanging himself in jail. Last year, the family of a jail suicide victim was awarded $11.9 million.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Police Misconduct Attorney – A Federal Judge Rules that a Prison in Rosharon, Texas, must Add Temporary Air-Conditioning for Heat-Sensitive Inmates

Friday, July 21st, 2017

BOT Complex, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Administrative Headquarters. (Source: Wikipedia)

The majority of prisons in Texas do not have air conditioning in inmate living areas, in spite of the sweltering heat in summer months. The Darrington Unit, a maximum-security prison built in 1917, is among them. It is located in Rosharon, about 30 miles southwest of Houston. There’s nothing about this particular prison to necessarily distinguish it from others, as far as the need to give relief to at-risk inmates. Regardless of that lack of distinction, on July 19, 2017, Keith Ellison, federal district judge in Houston, ordered the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to provide inmates in the Pack Unit with air conditioning within 15 days. Medically sensitive inmates are housed in that part of The Darrington Unit.

The state announced that it is appealing the temporary order, which has a 90-day expiration date.

One of the considerations in the appeals court will be whether this matter should be a class-action suit applying to the entire prison system, as opposed to only those in Rosharon.

The matter is expected to go to trial. Judge Ellison said that he thinks his order will probably stand, which means permanent changes can be expected for Pack Unit inmates.

In the meantime, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made a statement saying it is unnecessary to take on the exorbitant cost of air conditioning systems and the electricity required to operate them. In addition, air conditioning is not mandated by the constitution. He expressed confidence that TDCJ is doing everything required to give adequate protection from the heat and to provide safeguards from heat-related illnesses. Fans and unlimited access to ice are among the measures that currently provide relief to prison inmates at The Darrington Unit, which some inmates say is a big improvement over 8 years ago.

In Texas prisons, research indicates that there have been 23 fatalities and hundreds of illnesses related to heat since 1998.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Jefferson County is Sued over a 2016 County Jail Suicide

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

On September 16, 2016, 48-year-old Thomas Lorecki died after hanging himself in Jefferson County Jail in the state of Washington. One of his sons has filed a lawsuit against Jefferson County, claiming that his father had obviously been in a suicidal state and corrections staff failed to provide adequate supervision. The county essentially claimed in response that Lorecki’s death was a result of his own conduct.

The county also claims that a relative of Lorecki and a third cellmate both knew Lorecki was suicidal but failed to share the information with jail officials. In addition, the county says that Kitsap Mental Health Services may be an at-fault entity, but they were not named as a defendant.

A report by Sgt. Andy Pernsteiner said that Lorecki used bedding and his socks threaded through a wall vent 10 feet off the ground to end his life. The lawsuit brings into question why Lorecki wasn’t kept in a suicide-proof cell, since he had allegedly asked at least 10 times to see a mental health professional while an inmate at the jail. Pernsteiner’s report also allegedly said that at one point Lorecki attempted to hang himself with a T-shirt and that he was upset when guards were called because the shirt tore.

It’s expected that the trial will be held in 2018. In the meantime, it is still in the discovery stage.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

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In Connection with a 2014 Alleged Police Shooting Involving Alleged “Unreasonable Force,” a Family is Awarded $7 Million in Damages

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

English: Police officers watching the traffic ...

English: Police officers watching the traffic for the 2011 Good Friday procession in Riga, Latvia. Svenska: Poliser vakande över trafiken inför Långfredagsprocessionen 2011 i Riga, Lettland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On July 13, 2017, a jury handed down their ruling in a civil case related to the alleged fatal police shooting of Ashley DiPiazza that occurred in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2014. The family of the deceased filed the lawsuit against the two police officers who allegedly shot and killed 26-year-old DiPiazza. Both officers were cleared of any criminal charges in the same year as the shooting. This week, a jury awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages against each officer for a total judgment of $7 million.

On May 18, 2014, the day of DiPiazza’s death, police officers went to an apartment on MacArthur Road in response to calls about a domestic disturbance. A 9-1-1- dispatcher was informed by a man that he left the apartment because DiPiazza had locked herself in the bedroom with his handgun, a 9mm.

In a federal courtroom this week, all three officers at the scene of the woman’s death described the chaotic situation when they got to the apartment. Initially, when the woman first went to her bedroom door holding a gun to her head, the supervising officer ordered officers out and instructed them not to re-enter. She then took the role of negotiator.

When shots were ultimately fired, one of the officers said that he wildly jerked the trigger in response to stress hormones, when DiPiazza began walking out of her bedroom holding a handgun against her head. The second officer who allegedly fired shots used an AR-15 assault rifle and pulled the trigger at the same time.

The lawsuit damages are covered under the city’s insurance policy.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

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Taylor County and the Abilene, Texas, Sheriff’s Office are Sued in a 2015 Death of an Inmate

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

English: Downtown Abilene, Texas, looking sout...

English: Downtown Abilene, Texas, looking south from the 500 block of Cypress Street. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A lawsuit seeking $4 million was filed by Iris Guerrero, aunt of the late Cynthia Ann Cortez, in April 2017. Guerrero’s lawsuit accuses the Abilene Sheriff’s Office and Taylor County of neglecting care of her niece. Cortez had been arrested on April 16, 2015, on a drug-related felony warrant and was subsequently incarcerated at the Taylor County Jail. Approximately 11 hours after her arrest, staff members at the jail allegedly heard complaints from inmates that Cortez was sweating, shaking, and had become delirious. At about 4:20 am on April 17, a fellow inmate reported to officers that Cortez had overdosed on methamphetamine. An ambulance arrived at the jail by 4:57 am. During transport, the woman’s heart stopped numerous times. She was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the hospital.

Court documents allege that Cortez consumed an overdose of methamphetamine at the time law enforcement officers pulled her over, in order to prevent the officers from discovering drugs in her possession. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants in this case were already aware that Cortez was a known methamphetamine user. Cortez allegedly displayed obvious signs of drug intoxication and the arresting officers allegedly failed in their duty to properly screen, transport observe, and/or treat her for an overdose of drugs.

The lawsuit further alleges that Cortez completed a screening for mental and medical impairments and for suicide. The lawsuit asserts that the county employee who filled out the form made a note that Cortez had possible “mental retardation” or “mental illness” but failed to indicate that Cortez was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges that Cortez was obviously unable to comply with the requirement to submit a written request in order to see medical personnel; the claim is that she was too incoherent, incapacitated, and in pain to comply.

The primary basis of the suit is that Cortez did not receive reasonable medical care because of alleged failure of jail staff to properly observe her condition.

–Guest Contributor

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