According to an article published by NPR, our very own attorneys
Robert Brzezinski, and
Erin Oglesby of Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C. and other members of the co-counsel have reached
a $1.9 million settlement agreement in a
wrongful death suit brought by the mother of Sandra Bland. In July 2015, Bland was taken into
custody by Officer Encinia for a traffic violation. Three days after her
arrest, Bland was found dead in her Texas jail cell.
Rhodes states that the Texas Department of Public Safety will be responsible
for paying $100,000.00 while Waller County will be liable for paying an
additional $1.8 million.
He explains that the settlement agreement also includes de-escalation training
for state troopers as well as the following changes to procedures of Waller
- Modifying booking processes
- Implementing the use of telemedicine equipment so inmates and detainees
may receive screening from health care or mental health care professionals
- Adding an onsite nurse or EMT 24/7, which the jail does not have currently employ
- Implementing a system that disallows falsified jail logs (Will require
a card swipe, sensor, or other tool on each cell that must be registered
in a computer system)
Additionally, the parties agreed to advance legislation in order to implement
these changes in other rural jails throughout Texas. According to Rhodes,
legislature will need to approve and pass these changes.
To learn more about the case, read the
recent article published by NPR.