A press conference via phone will be held tomorrow by Mendocino Sheriff Tom Allman to discuss updates in a lawsuit pending against the Sheriff's Office and the County of Mendocino. During this press conference Sheriff Allman is expected to provide information about a motion filed by Mendocino County and MCSO in James Neuroth v. Mendocino County et al. Spaces to the press conference are limited.
According to the link below the last filing on June 4, 2018 was for Order on Motion for Reconsideration.
In the wrongful death lawsuit, the brother of Steven Neuroth, an inmate made certain allegations. Details on those allegations and several other links to documents in the case are provided below.
According to previous coverage, a review of the incident was undertaken by Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster in July 2015. He concluded Steven Neuroth's death wasn't caused by negligence at the hands of law enforcement.
According to DA Eyster's report, there was a "staggering" amount of methamphetamine in Steven Neuroth's body at the time of his death. This was according to a pathologist who believed the drug was a factor in Steven Neuroth's death.
Background (facts as alleged by plaintiffs):
Plaintiff is the brother of Decedent Steven Neuroth. The First Amended Complaint alleges that Steven Neuroth "was a mentally ill man, having been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, and depression." First Amend. Compl. (Doc. 31) at ¶19. On June 10, 2014, at approximately 10:00 p.m., Willits Police Officers encountered Steven Neuroth, who told them that an unknown person was after him, and that all the traffic in Willits was going to hurt him. Id. at ¶20. The officers arrested Steven Neuroth on suspicion that he was under the influence of a controlled substance. Id. The officers reported that Steven Neuroth was "extremely paranoid," "believed someone was out to 'kill him,'" "was going through a psychosis state," and that he was afraid of "snakes" in the police car. Id. Steven Neuroth was booked into the Mendocino County jail as a pretrial detainee. At the time of booking, he had no apparent physical injuries. Id.
Mendocino County contracts its correctional healthcare to Defendant CFMG. Id. at ¶9. CFMG employee Defendant Jennifer Caudillo, L.V.N. performed the jail's intake medical assessment on Steven Neuroth. Id. ¶11, 21. Defendant Caudillo reported in her assessment that Steven Neuroth's heart beat was 129 beats per minute, which indicated that he was suffering from tachycardia. Id. Defendant Caudillo noted both that Steven Neuroth's blood pressure was 151/92, whereas normal blood pressure is less than 120/80, and that his respiration rate was 18 breaths per minute, whereas the respiration rate for a normal adult is 12 breaths per minute. Id. Defendant Caudillo also noted that Steven Neuroth was "very paranoid." Id.
Defendant Caudillo had actual knowledge that Steven Neuroth was in extreme medical and psychiatric distress and in need of emergency medical/psychiatric care, but decided not to provide or request such necessary care. Id. Defendant Caudillo also decided not to secure, or request, such necessary treatment for Steven Neuroth in a hospital. Id. At approximately midnight on June 10, 2014, while jail staff had actual knowledge that Steven Neuroth was apparently psychotic, paranoid, and suffering from serious medical/psychiatric needs, Defendants acted with deliberate indifference to those serious medical/psychiatric needs, and denied Steven Neuroth necessary medical and/or psychiatric care, including necessary emergency care. Id. at ¶23. Steven Neuroth became unable to care for himself or to understand and follow the commands and directives of jail personnel. Id.
"When Steven Neuroth allegedly acted paranoid and was uncooperative, jail staff including deputies used a high level of injurious force," sufficient to cause Steven Neuroth's death. Id. at ¶24. Sheriff's Deputies used control holds to take Steven Neuroth to the ground where they put restraints on his legs. Id. Deputies moved Steven Neuroth to Safety Cell #2, "where they continued to use excessive and unjustified force against him, including, on information and belief, multiple strikes, blows, and control holds." Id. Defendants also restrained Steven Neuroth in such a way that he suffered restraint associated asphyxia (or positional asphyxia) and death. Id.
"According to the official Mendocino County autopsy, injuries that Defendants caused to Steven Neuroth in the jail included: blunt force injuries  widespread; fracture, essentially non-displaced, of the left fifth rib at the costochondral junction; general visceral passive hyperemia (organ injuries); and Petechiae, epicardial, focal; and other serious physical injuries. Id. at ¶25. Steven Neuroth was transferred to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center where he died, after cardiac arrest, at about 12:46 a.m. on June 11, 2014. Id. at ¶35.