AP NEWS

Northern California county to pay $2M over inmate death

June 15, 2018

LAKEPORT, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California county has agreed to pay $2 million to a man who sued after his mother killed herself in jail a day after she was arrested for being under the influence of drugs.

A spokesman for the son, Dane Shikman, said Thursday that Shikman filed a federal lawsuit alleging his mother, Elizabeth Gaunt, was left in a Lake County jail sobering cell in 2015 without being evaluated by a doctor, even though she was hallucinating.

The suit says a licensed vocational nurse who last saw the 56-year-old woman documented her psychosis but failed to contact a doctor as required.

The county counsel’s office said it had no comment about the settlement. In court documents, the county rejected the claim that officials were deliberately indifferent to Gaunt’s medical needs.