$1 Million for Mother and Sons of Mentally Ill Man Allowed to Hang Himself in the Tulare County Jail

In 2010, Mario Lopez's mother called 911 when her son needed immediate care for his mental illness. Expecting an ambulance, a sheriff's deputy arrived, and rather than take Mario to the hospital as he told Mrs. Lopez he would, he arrested Mario. The Tulare County Jail held Mario on a misdemeanor charge for three months while he was not competent for trial, and did not receive the medical care he needed. Tulare County was deliberatly indifferent to Mario's serious medical needs, and right after removing him from suicide watch, he was allowed to hang himself from horizonatal bars near the top of his cell.

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Related Headlines
  • Tulare County settles jail suicide lawsuit; Mario Lopez's family to receive $1M
    VISALIA, CA, Visalia Times-Delta, June 1, 2012

    Tulare County has settled for $1 million a lawsuit filed by the family of an Ivanhoe man who died in 2010 after hanging himself inside a county jail cell. In exchange for the money, the family of Mario Antonio Lopez has agreed to drop a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Fresno accusing the Tulare County Sheriff's Department of wrongfully jailing the man, who suffered from mental disorders, and not providing him proper psychiatric care over the more than three months that he was in custody. ... "It was a very early settlement — before any depositions were done," Haddad said in a phone interview. "I think it was clear to everyone involved what the facts were, more or less."