University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Mayfield v. Orozco JC-CA-0116
Docket / Court 2:13-CV-02499-JAM-AC ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection California's Prisoners' Rights Bar article
Case Summary
On December 3, 2013, a pre-trial detainee in the Sacramento County Jail filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The plaintiff sued the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, an individual officer in the Sheriff's Department, the County of Sacramento, ... read more >
On December 3, 2013, a pre-trial detainee in the Sacramento County Jail filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The plaintiff sued the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, an individual officer in the Sheriff's Department, the County of Sacramento, the University of California, and the University of California Health System (UCDHS) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff sought monetary relief, claiming violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution. Specifically, the plaintiff attempted to commit suicide while he was a pre-trial detainee in the jail and suffered a spinal injury that left him paralyzed and cognitively impaired for the rest of his life. Prior to the suicide attempt, the plaintiff had also been assaulted by Jail correctional officers and sexually assaulted by other inmates. The plaintiff alleged that despite knowledge his history of assaults and mental illness, the defendants failed to provide him with appropriate mental health care and failed to take adequate steps to protect him from harm.

The University of California moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state claims upon which relief can be granted. On September 10, 2015, Judge John A. Mendez granted in part and denied in part the defendant's motion to dismiss. Judge Mendez held that the University is an arm of the state and immune from state law claims in federal court. Judge Mendez also struck the plaintiff's prayer for restitution and punitive damages against UCHDS.

On June 20, 2016, the plaintiffs filed a fourth amended complaint so as to state claims previously asserted by a plaintiff who had died through the conservator of his estate and to dismiss an individual defendant from the case.

In November 2016, the defendants filed three separate motions for summary judgment: one by the University of California and UCDHS, one by the individual officer in the Sheriff's Department, and one by the County of Sacramento and county officials. Around the same time, the plaintiffs filed a motion for sanctions and reasonable expenses.

On March 31, 2017, the Court issued decisions on the remaining motions for summary judgment, granting in part and denying in part each of the defendants' motions.

Shortly before the Court issued its decisions on the motions for summary judgment, however, the University of California, UCDHS, and two doctors filed a notice of settlement with the court. Those defendants agreed to pay the plaintiffs $2,500,000 in exchange for a general release and dismissal of this action with prejudice. However, this settlement proposal was withdrawn pending perfection of another more expansive settlement agreement.

On the first day of trial, May 1, 2017, a plaintiff raised a Batson motion during jury selection after the defense counsel used peremptory challenges to strike the only two prospective black jurors in the jury venire. Judge Mendez granted the plaintiff's motion, finding that the defense counsel's race-neutral explanations for striking the two jurors were pretextual. By May 8, 2017, however, the parties reported that they had reached a global settlement agreement and the remainder of the jury trial was vacated.

On August 29, 2017, the parties sought court approval of their settlement agreement. The parties agreed to a universal settlement of $5,000,000 to resolve all claims in the case. The plaintiff would receive 85% of the total settlement and his parents would receive the remaining 15%. Based on their agreement at the start of representation, plaintiffs' counsel will receive $2,000,000 in attorneys' fees, which is 40% of the total settlement.

On November 6, 2017, Judge Mendez approved the settlement agreement with some alterations. Instead of receiving 15% of the total recovery, the plaintiffs' parents would only receive 5%. Plaintiff's counsel received 40% of the total recovery, as well as $388,721.34 in costs. The case was voluntarily dismissed on December 27, 2017.

Jessica Kincaid - 09/30/2015
Eva Richardson - 01/05/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Assault/abuse by staff
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Suicide prevention
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Self-injurious behaviors
Suicide prevention
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) Sacramento County
Sacramento County Sheriff's Department
University of California
University of California Health System
Plaintiff Description A pre-trial detainee in the Sacramento County Jail who attempted to commit suicide while in Jail and sustained serious life-long injuries.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filing Year 2013
Case Closing Year 2017
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
2:13-cv-2499 (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0116-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/27/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Civil Rights Violation; Demand for Jury Trial [ECF# 1]
JC-CA-0116-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/03/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Motions and Motions: A. To Dismiss for lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction (FRCP 12(b)(1)); B. Failure to State Claims Upon Which Relief Can Be Granted (FRCP 12(b)(6); and C. To Strike Portions of Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint (FRCP 12(f)) [ECF# 42]
JC-CA-0116-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/20/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Amended Complaint for Damages; Demand for Jury Trial [ECF# 57]
JC-CA-0116-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/15/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fourth Amended Complaint [ECF# 106]
JC-CA-0116-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/20/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 399] (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0116-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/06/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Claire, Allison Court not on record [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0116-9000
Mendez, John A. (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0116-0005 | JC-CA-0116-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bien, Michael W. (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Coromelas, Acrivi (California)
JC-CA-0116-0004 | JC-CA-0116-9000
Fischer, Aaron Joseph (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Galvan, Ernest (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Hadsell, Barbara Enloe (California)
JC-CA-0116-0003 | JC-CA-0116-0004 | JC-CA-0116-9000
McLoon, Caitlan Lisette (California)
JC-CA-0116-0004 | JC-CA-0116-9000
Millen, Michael (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Piovia-Scott, Joshua (California)
JC-CA-0116-0003 | JC-CA-0116-0004 | JC-CA-0116-9000
Rifkin, Lori Ellen (California)
JC-CA-0116-0003 | JC-CA-0116-0004 | JC-CA-0116-9000
Stormer, Dan Lewis (California)
JC-CA-0116-0003 | JC-CA-0116-0004 | JC-CA-0116-9000
Tajsar, Mohammad K. (California)
JC-CA-0116-0003 | JC-CA-0116-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cahill, Nicole Marie (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Calnero, Lauren E. (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Cassidy, Terence J (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
DeBow, Adam James (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Gnekow, Charles M.B. (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Johnson, Brian D. (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Klauschie, Jack A. Jr. (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Linkert, Richard Stone (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Longyear, Dayton Van Vranken (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Lutterman, Neal Christopher (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Lynch, Gregory Gordon (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Samuel, Bianca S. (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Tyler, Robert Frederick Jr. (California)
JC-CA-0116-0002 | JC-CA-0116-9000
Weber, John Joseph (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Wells, Kim M. (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Whitefleet, John Robert (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Zilaff, Peter Carlberg (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000
Other Lawyers Mendelson, Margot Knight (California)
JC-CA-0116-9000

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