A Pasco man formally filed a claim seeking $5 million from Benton County following the March 11 death of his son at the Benton County Jail.
Miguel Moreno, father of Marc Anthony Moreno, 18, filed the claim Nov. 29. The claim puts the county on alert that the Moreno family intends to sue for damages.
The hand written claim says the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and the Benton County Office of Public Defense are responsible for the death of Marc Moreno. The Pasco man died eight days after he was arrested on warrants for minor offenses during a mental health crisis.
The claim said the county should have been aware of Moreno’s mental health issues and failed to come to his aid during the eight days between his arrest and death.
The Benton County Coroner ruled Moreno’s death was caused by cardiac arrhythmia and dehydration following apparent use of synthetic cannabinoids and subsequent incarceration. He called the manner of death an accident.
George Treja, a Yakima attorney representing the Moreno estate, said he expects to sue in federal court for wrongful death.