The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors rejected the $3.25 million settlement for the family of diabetic Deborah Braillard, who died in 2005 after not getting medical treatment in MCSO jail.
ABC 15, which has been closely tracking the Braillard case, reports that the vote ended in a tie after Supervisor Don Stapley recused himself, which means the case will go back to trial.
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Braillard was arrested by deputies in early January, 2005, after the car she was in broke down, and drugs were found in her purse.
Over the next few days, Braillard started to show symptoms of illness, which officers assumed had to do with drug withdrawal. They were wrong, as the medical examiner said Braillard had no drugs in her system, and she died from problems related to her diabetes -- Michael Lacey's 2010 cover story with the details can be found here. Also see this week's cover story by Lacey on the Melendres v. Arpaio lawsuit trial, during which Arpaio's lies were on display.
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The trial already had been going on when the settlement was reached, but the case will have to go back to court since it was rejected.
Although the dollar amount would be in a jury's hands now, the bucks work differently in that case, as Stephen Lemons explained upon hearing the news of the settlement:
Another reason the county settled: In this case, the jury could have awarded punitive damages against individual defendants, including Arpaio himself.
If Arpaio personally faced bankruptcy for the systemic, criminal problems in his jails, much less for any of his other misdeeds in office, you can be certain his reign of error would quickly be corrected.
Alas, such is not the case. County taxpayers foot the bill, or rather the cost of the insurance that will cover it. The deductible for that insurance is now $5 million, up from $1 million, and you know part of the reason why.