$1M Settlement in California Jail Suicide Lawsuit

Amanda Sloan, a 30-year-old mother of three, was originally arrested and booked for speeding away during a traffic stop and allegedly discharging a gun out of the sunroof of her car. She scaped from jail and was placed on the county's Most Wanted list. Arrested again after her mother tipped the police off to her location (reportedly stressing that she would attempt "suicide by cop"; deputies shot her five times during the second arrest), Sloan was taken to the Santa Cruz County Main Jail, where she continued to threaten suicide. On July 17, 2013, she was found dead in her cell.

Sloan's death was one of five Santa Cruz jail deaths in an 11-month period between 2012 and 2013. A subsequent grand jury investigation concluded that jail staff violated multiple safety protocols in connection with her suicide, going so far as to falsify records. The jail's medical provider, California Forensic Medical Group, is a medical service provider for jails in 27 California counties and was reportedly a defendant in 83 separate cases as of October 2016.

In October, Sloan's family reached a settlement of $1.05M with the County. Her family was represented by NPAP member attorney Diane Vaillancourt as well as Jonathan Gettleman and his partners Eric Nelson and Elizabeth Caballero.