San Bernardino County recently awarded an Adelanto woman’s family a $1.9million settlement. Betty Lozano died while in the High Desert Detention Centre. She didn’t receive proper health care after experiencing a medical emergency.
Counsels representing Betty’s mother, Maria Stofflet and two young children sued the San Bernardino County Sherriff Department for negligence. Also, they accused the department of denying Betty vital medical attention while in the detention center. The lawyers filed a civil rights case in Riverside, last February.
A federal court agreed on the settlement on March 6 and later dismissed the case. Betty’s family lawyers, Dale Galipo, Sharon Brunner and James Terrell termed Betty’s case as being tragic. James accused the sheriff department of failing to learn from past lawsuits that other people had filed against it. He said that the deputy sheriff had low regard for life hence allowing Betty to die in her cell.
Also, Terrell emphasized the need to reform the department. Christina Montes, Betty’s sister, explained her mixed emotions regarding the settlement. She stated that a person’s life can’t be compared with any amount of money. However, she assured the court that the family would use the settlement to take care of Betty’s children. Christina pledged to push for a transformation on how the sheriff treats people.
She explained how many inmates in various correctional and detention centers need quality healthcare due to their mental health and health complications. Instead, the detention officers ignore their needs. Christina emphasized the need to hold people accountable for the department’s transformation. Moreover, Christina intends to mobilize other people who have lost their loved ones in detention centers.
Betty Lozano, 34, had a bipolar disorder. Police officers arrested her on July 26, 2017, at 4:27 p.m.The sheriff’s deputies thought she had taken drugs. As they were transporting her at the back of their patrol car, Betty fainted. The officers abandoned her in a cell for several hours until her demise that night.
According to the suit, there was a video record at the facility which was vital in confirming Betty’s health condition and its decline after her detention. She passed out at 8:50p.m.the detention officers took her to Victor Global Medical Centre where she died at 11:11 pm.
Sharon thanked the county court for the settlement. She said that although it wouldn’t make up for the loss of Betty, it will support her children. Also, she is eager to witness a transformation in jail policies and how the facilities will implement them. Sharon stated that she still receives numerous complaints from families whose loved ones have died in several San Bernardino County detention centers.