San Bernardino County to pay four prisoners to settle jail abuse lawsuits – California News

San Bernardino County to pay four prisoners to settle jail abuse lawsuits – California News

Four more current and former West Valley Detention Center inmates have agreed to settle their federal lawsuits against San Bernardino County alleging they were physically abused by deputies at the Rancho Cucamonga jail.

Plaintiffs Anthony Gomez, Keith Courtney, Daniel Vargas Jr., and Mario Villa signed their settlement agreements on July 13, July 20, and July 17, respectively.

The settlements totaled $60,000, with Gomez and Courtney each settling for $20,000 and Vargas and Villa each settling for $10,000, according to the settlement agreements and their attorney, Robert McKernan.

Courtney was previously represented by Victorville attorneys Jim Terrell, Sharon Brunner, and Stanley Hodge, but subsequently switched counsel and retained McKernan to represent him in that litigation, McKernan said.

The settlements were not an admission of guilt by the county, but were entered into merely to avoid further litigation, according to the documents.

McKernan declined further comment Tuesday.

Since June 21, the county has settled for more than $2.8 million eight federal lawsuits filed on behalf of nearly 40 current and former West Valley inmates. They alleged a pattern of Taser gun torture and other physical abuse by deputies including having their handcuffed wrists yanked up behind their backs, referred to as “chicken winging,” and violent pat-down searches their attorneys characterized as sodomy.

On July 11, the county settled for $2.5 million five lawsuits totaling 32 plaintiffs represented by Terrell, Brunner, Hodge and Woodland Hills veteran trial attorney Dale K. Galipo.

On June 27, the county settled another lawsuit involving…

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