Sedgwick County and Sheriff's Office Enter Settlement
Sedgwick County and the Sheriff’s Office have entered into a settlement with the family of Edgar Richard, Jr. in the case titled Ronell Richard, as Administrator of the Estate of Edgar Richard, Jr. v. Board of County Commissioners of Sedgwick County, et al., filed in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.
The amount of the settlement is $300,000.The plaintiff’s claim for damages in this lawsuit was in the amount of $4.5 million.
The case has been pending since late 2009 and concerns events that occurred in early 2008. Richard suffered serious physical injuries as a result of a physical response by a sheriff’s deputy during medication rounds at the Sedgwick County Jail. The involved deputy’s actions were in violation of his training and he was terminated by the Sheriff’s Office, and prosecuted in criminal proceedings by the District Attorney’s Office.
The settlement will release former Deputy Manuel Diaz and Saquisha Nelson (Clark) from liability for any alleged federal or state claims. The settlement is not admission of liability.
The agreement also acknowledges the prior rulings of the District Court granting summary judgment and dismissal of former Sedgwick County Sheriffs Gary Steed and Robert Hinshaw, and the Board of County Commissioners in October 2012 and February 2014. Under the terms of the settlement, plaintiffs waive any appeal of the court’s dismissals of these parties.
The case was to begin a lengthy jury trial on March 25. Regardless of the ultimate verdict, the case was likely to involve at least a year or two of appeals and potentially other trail proceedings. A settlement at this stage was considered to be in the best interest of all concerned.