George Trejo Jr. didn’t give a reason for being a day late to file damages against Benton County for the death of an 18-year-old jail inmate.
The family intends to seek $5 million, Trejo said.
The Yakima attorney represents the family of Marc Anthony Moreno, a teen suffering from schizophrenia and being bipolar. The teenager died in custody at the Benton County Jail in March from dehydration, cardiac arrhythmia and the use of artificial cannabis.
Trejo said he was going to file a claim for damages with the county on Tuesday instead of Monday as originally planned.
The family is seeking damages from Benton County and the public defenders office after Moreno was arrested on misdemeanor warrants for driving while his license was suspended and failing to transfer a car title within 45 days of a purchase. He was seeking help from the now-dissolved Benton-Franklin Crisis Response Unit when police arrested him.
The claim is a prelude to suing for damages under the law. Plaintiffs must file a claim at least 60 days in advance of a formal lawsuit to give the agency a chance to settle.
Moreno, whose mental health issues were known to the jail, died eight days after being lodged in a padded cell. Trejo said Moreno threw the food and never ate it or drank the water.