Mother of mentally ill man who died in Precinct 1 custody recovers $3 million.
Dallas, TX (AmericanInjuryNews.com)–On Monday, a Harris County jury returned a $3 million verdict to the mother of a mentally ill man who was excessively shocked, hogtied, essentially beaten, and later died while being taken into Precinct 1 constable’s deputies custody on February 18, 2005. As reported by the Houston Chronicle on Monday, Joel Don Casey, a 52 year old schizophrenic man was literally beaten, shocked and hogtied by four deputies, who responded to the home of his mother, Shirley Nagel, with a mental health warrant on his birthday.
Nagel and her lawyers described Casey as a highly functional schizophrenic who lived with his mother in the 4100 block of Meyerwood. Court records show the lawsuit named deputies James R. Cavitt, Gregory Young, Demonte Gehring and Daniel Thomas (who was not found to be at fault in this legal action). Nagel had phoned Casey’s psychiatrist saying her son was acting odd and had stopped taking his prescription medication. According to court documents and court testimony presented by Nagel’s attorneys, when deputies arrived Casey was cooperative, followed the officers’ commands, and allowed the deputies to hand cuff him. Casey protested when one of the handcuffs was fastened too tight and was hurting him.
Deputies then used a Taser on Casey dropping him face down on the sofa. The deputies continued to assault Casey. The officers electrocuted Casey with a 50,000 volt stun gun, repeatedly, up and down the side of his body while Casey was screaming, “I’m your friend, don’t kill me, I’m your friend,” according to the plaintiff’s attorney. The deputies dragged Casey outside, threw him down on the street in front of a police car, and hogtied him. Probably one of the most horrific blows came when Officer Cavitt slammed his knee on Casey’s neck and yanked his head back. This strike fractured Casey’s 7th cervical vertebrae and broke the left horn of his thyroid cartilage, which lies on the front of the neck.
An autopsy was performed and Casey’s death was ruled a homicide. The coroner found the cause of death to be psychotic delirium with physical restraint associated with heart disease. The jury deliberated almost five hours and returned the $3 million dollar verdict, on Monday in the Harris County Courthouse.
AmericanInjuryNews.com by Dallas Injury Lawyer Amy K. Witherite
Practice areas: Wrongful Death Claims
Amy Witherite. Eberstein & Witherite, LLP. 3100 Monticello Avenue, Suite 500. Dallas, TX 75205 – Toll Free: (888) 407-6669