SPOKANE, Washington — Spokane officials have set aside $250,000 in legal fees to defend the city against a $6.5 million wrongful death claim by the family of a man who choked on his own vomit while being booked into the Spokane County Jail.
The Spokesman-Review reports (http://goo.gl/S6vH5O ) the City Council approved the contract with a law firm Monday in connection with the May death of 37-year-old Lorenzo Hayes.
Investigators say Hayes was placed in a restraint chair for uncooperative behavior before he died. He had been arrested by Spokane officers on suspicion of violating a no-contact order and illegally having a firearm.
The claim alleges officers ignored Hayes' medical needs and restrained him in a way "known to compromise breathing."
The Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office has ruled Hayes' death a homicide.
Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com