Alameda County $8.3 million jail death settlement mandates jail health care reforms

Malaika Fraley, Oakland Tribune, February 10, 2015
OAKLAND -- A record-breaking settlement over the death of an Oakland man who died after being beaten and Tased by Santa Rita Jail deputies requires better health care in Alameda County jails and is projected to set a higher standard of care in jails and prisons nationwide. "Martin Harrison's legacy will be safer care for jail and prison inmates around the country," said Julia Sherwin of Haddad & Sherwin. "His family ... was committed to making sure that Martin's death was not in vain. They have succeeded completely." ... The correctional health care reforms mandated in the settlement will be monitored for at least four years by federal Judge Jon S. Tiger and will apply to Corizon's contracts at jails in Santa Barbara, Fresno, and Tulare counties. ... "When they comply with the law in California every other inmate in states where they have different contracts like Arizona or Alabama, New York or Michigan ... are also entitled to have nursing care that complies with the law ...," Sherwin said.The $8.3 million award is the largest civil rights wrongful death settlement in California's history, surpassing a $5 million settlement awarded last year to the family of an unarmed man shot and killed by Los Angeles police, according to the plaintiffs' attorneys. ... "We wanted what happened to our dad to have a bigger meaning and he's not just another person who lost his life in the system," Harrison's eldest daughter, Tiffany Harrison said.

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