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SAN DIEGO: Ivan Ortiz Died Following Suicide At County Jail


Apr 19, 2019

Ivan Ortiz San Diego: Ivan Ortiz From San Ysidro Died In County Jail Following Arrest and Suicide

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (April 18, 2019) – A 26-year-old inmate identified as Ivan Ortiz has tragically died  after a suicide at a county jail in Sn Diego.

San Diego deputies are saying that they were doing a routine security check when they discovered Ivan Ortiz unconscious in his cell. Officials began life-saving measures around 3:45 p.m. and Ivan Ortiz was taken to the hospital. 

Around 4 1/2 hours later the inmate was pronounced dead at the hospital. His suicide comes just one day before his court hearing for allegedly attacking the son of a congressional candidate. 

The death of Ivan Ortiz marks the fourth death at San Diego county jails in recent weeks. This comes amid growing concerns about the health care that San Diego inmates are receiving. 

Liability In Inmate Suicides

Suicides are actually extremely common in county jails. According to one study from Sam Houston State University, “Suicide among the inmate prison population occurs at a rate much higher than that of the civilian population. Studies show that suicide is a leading cause of death among inmates throughout the United States.” In short, jails have a constitutional responsibility to give inmates reasonably adequate healthcare. 

County jails are not expected to perfectly safeguard inmates from all sources of potential harm. But a custodial agency may not be deliberately indifferent to an inmate’s serious risk of suicide. See, for example, (Estelle v. Gamble, 1976; Partridge v. Two Unknown Police Officers, 1986). Jails are expected to take a number of steps to reduce the likelihood of suicides:

  • Inmates deemed at risk of suicide should not be given tools which could be used for that purpose (e.g., ropes, belts).
  • Jails should develop policies suicide prevention 
  • Jails should implement booking, screening and classification procedures to determine which inmates are at risk.  

When there is a string of deaths at a county jail, this may point to substandard care being offered to prisoners. It may even help demonstrate deliberate indifference on the part of prison officials responsible for taking care of inmates. The family of a inmate that dies from a suicide may have legal recourse through California’s Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. A wrongful death attorney can investigate your case free of charge and get to the bottom of what happened. 

Investigating An Inmate Death

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Ivan Ortiz as they seek answers. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened. Every inmate should be treated fairly and given adequate care regardless of what crime they are being accused of. Any person that may have knowledge about what happened should come forward and speak with investigators.  

If you or someone that you love has died at a county jail you may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys can answer any legal questions that you may have about your rights. We are committed to making sure that families get the answers that they deserve. Whether you need a free investigation into your case or just have questions about your rights we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.

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