Shaunda Brummet said her 21-year-old son Daniel Sisson died in his cell at the Vista Detention Facility on June 25, 2011 after suffering an asthma attack. She claims his body was found by jail staff four hours later.
Sisson suffered from a heroin addiction caused by the struggles of dealing with an arthritic disease called Reiter's syndrome. The addiction landed Sisson in jail, according to his mother.
"I thought, ‘Maybe that's a good safe place for him to be,’" said Brummet. "They didn't take care of him. They didn't even acknowledge that he was really sick."
The family’s attorney Chris Morris said not only did the staff not check on Sisson, there is video to prove it.
"The video shows them walking by the cell to do checks," said Morris, "But, unfortunately it looks like they don't even break stride. It doesn't even look like they stop at the door or turn to look in. I mean they just walk right on by."
The family is suing the San Diego Sheriff’s Department for civil violation of being deliberately indifferent to a medical need and failing to follow standard of care.
"They have an affirmative duty under their policies and procedures in the state law to do hourly safety checks," said Morris. "He was supposed to be monitored."
Three years later after Sisson died, his case goes to trial Tuesday morning in federal court.
Fox5 contacted San Diego Sheriff's Department, but they did not respond Monday.