After delay, supervisors agree on settlement for inmate death

November 20, 2012

Maricopa County will pay $3.25 million to the family of Deborah Braillard. Court records show she died in the county jail in January 2005 after she was denied treatment for diabetes. KJZZ’s Al Macias reports.

AL MACIAS: Braillard’s family had sued the county over her death. Earlier this year the case went to trial but after several weeks of testimony, attorneys for the county offered to settle. Then last month, just before the board of supervisors was set to approve the agreement, the meeting was disrupted by protestors. Tuesday morning a majority of the supervisors voted to approve the settlement. Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox said the settlement will serve as a lesson for county detention officers.

MARY ROSE WILCOX: We must make sure because this involved correctional health and the sheriff’s deputies that proper training has taken place. We must ask our county manager, which we’ve already done to talk to the sheriff’s office that proper training is there. Nobody should ever come into our jails and be treated in a manner that could cause a death.

MACIAS: Randy Parraz who coordinated the protest against Sheriff Joe Arpaio at the Oct. 17 meeting, says the board unnecessarily delayed the agreement.

RANDY PARRAZ: Whether they have something against our organization or they didn’t want to feel like they were pushed to do it. Or they were pressured or felt they were cowering to us or bowing to our pressure, that’s just silly. The point is they were prepared to do this on the 17th. They don’t like our tactics, well this is the United States of America, we can protest. We can do anything we want, and it’s their job to maintain order to maintain business and he chose not to do that.

MACIAS: An earlier court ruling determined the Braillard family could have collected punitive damages if they won the lawsuit, exposing Maricopa County to even more liability.

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