Another suit against GarCo Sheriff Vallario dismissed
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” A federal lawsuit against Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario was dismissed by Federal Judge Robert Blackburn Wednesday.
According to a Sheriff’s Office statement, Colorado Health Care, the County’s contract medical care provider, settled the matter for an undisclosed amount.
The statement said that Vallario was pleased with the settlement.
The lawsuit was filed in Jan. 31, 2008, after a former inmate, William Brent Huntley claimed that he was not given proper medical attention after falling and injuring his eye at the Garfield County Jail. The lawsuit was filed by a Pueblo-based attorney, Matt Martin.
Martin could not be immediately reached Wednesday evening for comment.
According to past Post Independent reports, the complaint alleged that jail staff delayed Huntley’s medical care and ignored his medical needs which violated his due process rights under the U.S. Constitution. It requested a judgment against Vallario and the health care provider, plus an unspecified amount of money.
The Sheriff’s Office stated that Huntley, refused to cooperate with the booking process when he was arrested on Jan. 31, 2006, and would not allow jail staff to get a blood alcohol reading. It was later that afternoon Huntley claimed to have fallen and injured his eye. However, the Sheriff’s Office says that they could not verify that his eye was injured while Huntley was at the Jail.
The jail did pay for Huntley’s medical expenses while he was in their custody, according to the statement, which included eye surgery and follow-up examinations.
The jail’s insurance pool also contributed $10,000 toward this settlement to offset Mr. Huntley’s legal and medical expenses for care he received after he left the jail. The settlement avoids an April 2009 trial in federal court and potentially saved taxpayer money and jail resources that would have been used defending the case.
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