'Clerical error' leads to $8M judgment in jail death - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Clerical error' leads to $8M judgment in jail death

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A judge has awarded $8 million to the family of a woman who died in the Spokane County Jail.
    
The Spokesman-Review reports (http://goo.gl/z79QSh ) that a judge signed a judgment in favor of Jessica Alvarado's family Dec. 2 after the county did not file an answer to the lawsuit for nearly three months.
    
Spokane County Risk Manager Steve Bartel says the county didn't respond because of a clerical error.
    
State law says that if the county can prove its error was "inadvertent," the judge could set aside the judgment.
    
An autopsy confirmed Alvarado died after choking on her own vomit in August 2012.
    
Alvarado's family claims the jail should have known the woman was exhibiting drug withdrawal symptoms.
    
The county says that medical staff checked on Alvarado every half hour.
    
___
    
Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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