The jury found the law enforcement agency guilty of violating 21-year-old Daniel Sission's rights when he died in his cell at the Vista Detention Facility on June 25, 2011 after suffering an asthma attack.
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 Shaunda Brummet.
According to the family’s attorney Chris Morris, the lawsuit was filed against the department for being deliberately indifferent to a medical need and failing to follow standard of care.
"I'm hopeful the verdict will send a message to the county and sheriff's department to change. You should not have people dying in jail," Morris said. “They have an affirmative duty under their policies and procedures in the state law to do hourly safety checks. He was supposed to be monitored.”
The County Counsel spokesman Michael Workman released a statement following the verdict:
“We are disappointed and will be discussing the verdict and evaluating possible next steps with our clients."