Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP attorneys Nicholas A. DiCello and Jeremy A. Tor were able to obtain justice through a lawsuit for the wrongful death of Antony Jones in September 2020. Our attorneys worked alongside Fieger Law Firm out of Michigan to reach a global $2.6 million settlement — a $2.4 million settlement against Summit County and a $200 thousand claim against the University Hospitals Psychiatry. Jones was a 36-year-old father with a long history of diagnosed mental health conditions. He died after an altercation with deputies while incarcerated at the county jail. The incident occurred when Jones was being transferred to a different unit.
The lawsuit claims that as Jones was being transferred, his condition of severe paranoia caused him to try to run back to his pod. Eleven deputies responded and used excessive force including tackling, tasing, and alleged beating. He stopped breathing and was rushed to Akron General Medical Center where he was later declared brain dead and taken off life support. The lawsuit stated claims including medical negligence, unreasonable excessive force, deliberate indifference to serious medical or mental health needs, and wrongful death. The case was unique in that there was no video evidence, as the camera present during the incident was not working.
Jones had a history of multiple diagnosed mental health conditions including schizophrenia, paranoia, psychosis, and bipolar disorder. At the time of his incarceration, he was not provided the necessary medication or care which ultimately resulted in further paranoia and the incident of his death.
The case against Summit County was difficult and unfortunate, but at Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP, we are content with the results of the settlement. We were able to get the result, reduce the case by at least a year, get new cameras installed in the jail, and eliminate the risk of a qualified immunity ruling for the deputies.