Davidson County Settles North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit by Family of Inmate Beaten in Jail

January 22, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Carlos Claros Castro will receive a settlement payment in the wrongful death of Castro, who died in Davidson County, North Carolina after being beaten by two county jailers.

The family of the Honduran immigrant had filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking $100 million–$50 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. The lawsuit claims that County Manager Robert Hyatt, Sheriff David Grice, and others failed to properly train or hire enough officers at the jail. The family also accuses Sheriff Grice of not properly investigating complaints and allowing excessive force to be used at the Davidson County jail.

Castro worked at Elizabeth’s Pizza in Thomasville, where he also had a home. He was brought to the Davidson County jail after his arrest for DWI, driving without a driver’s license, and leaving the scene of a one-car accident on January 6.

Castro reportedly took off his clothes when he couldn’t use the phone right away. He was restrained in a chair for over four hours. He was deprived of food, water, and not allowed to move.

Castro was later transferred to a second-floor isolation cell. Castro became involved in a struggle with detention officer Ronald Parker and Brandon Huie because Castro refused to return a mop.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims that the officers reportedly Tasered, pepper-sprayed, and beat Castro with a baton and their fists a number of times. He was transported to Lexington Memorial Hospital where he died.

An autopsy declared the death a homicide caused by multiple traumatic injuries. Claros had bleeding in the neck and brain, bruises on his head and body, stun gun wounds, and signs of asphyxiation.

Huie and Parker were initially charged with second-degree murder. The two men were eventually convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Police Brutality
Injuries or deaths caused by the unnecessarily violent actions of a police officer or another law enforcement officer is considered police brutality and can be grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Police brutality is an abuse of power. Just because you have been arrested for a crime does not entitle police to treat you with violence, abuse, or disrespect.

In North Carolina or South Carolina, our personal injury law firm can help you deal with your police brutality injury case. If your loved one has died at the hands of law enforcement officers, you can also speak to one of our wrongful death lawyers.

County settles wrongful-death suit, The Dispatch Online, January 11, 2008

Claros Family Settles Lawsuit, Journal Now, January 10, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Read the Medical Examiner’s Report (PDF)

Event Report, January 7, 2006, (PDF)


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