The sister of a quadriplegic man with schizophrenia has sued the Riverside County, California jail, the corrections employees and the county sheriff for allegedly causing catastrophic personal injury to her brother, David Manzo.
Manzo, of Perris, California, had been committed to mental facilities numerous times following calls to his home for domestic disturbances, according to The (Calif.) Press-Enterprise newspaper.
On Sept. 5, 2016, deputies responded to another call about a domestic dispute at Manzo’s home. When Manzo flicked cigarette ashes into the responding deputy’s face, Manzo was charged with two felonies, mayhem and resisting arrest, and booked into the Presley Detention Center in Riverside, California.
He left some seven weeks later as a quadriplegic man.
Jail Fight Leads to Catastrophic Personal Injury
After being declared incompetent to stand trial, and while awaiting transfer to a state mental hospital, an inmate attacked Manzo in a day room, according to the newspaper. The fight was captured on jail security cameras.
According to USA Today, Manzo is seen being knocked to the ground by the fellow inmate and lies there for two minutes before seven deputies respond.
Manzo, USA Today reports, “appears limp on the jail floor.”
“The deputies lift Manzo by the back of his shirt, propping him into a sitting position with his legs folded awkwardly beneath him,” according to the newspaper.
“The deputies then lay Manzo back on the floor, at which point he distinctly moves his right arm, showing that he has not yet been paralyzed.”
In an unsuccessful attempt to “hoist him to his feet,” three deputies grab Manzo under his arms, but he falls to the floor. They try twice more to lift him, but Manzo cannot support his own weight.
“Lying on his back, Manzo distinctly moves his head to look toward his feet, but does not move any of his limbs,” according to USA Today.
He is ultimately hoisted into a wheelchair and wheeled out of the camera’s view.
Improper Care Caused Paralysis, Lawsuit Claims
Genoveva Manzo’s catastrophic personal injury lawsuit alleges improper care by the corrections employees for causing her brother’s broken spine, a catastrophic injury that left hi a quadriplegic man.
“No cervical collar was placed on Manzo, nor was a backboard utilized to prevent damage to Manzo’s spine,” according to the catastrophic injury lawsuit. “Video of the incident shows deputies trying numerous times to pick up Manzo only for Manzo to slump back awkwardly to the floor, clearly lacking any ability to move his four limbs after having been picked up by the deputies.”
Genoveva Manzo’s lawyer told the local CBS news station that “a basic boy scout could have provided better first aid than what we have seen here from these trained first responders.”
The lawyer also criticized the corrections officers for putting the quadriplegic man into a wheelchair when “he should have gone out on a backboard and a gurney.”
David Manzo, 36, is now confined to a medical facility where he is battling related health issues, including pneumonia, according to Genoveva Manzo’s lawyer, who said the quadriplegic man’s lifetime medical care will cost $29 million, a figure that does not include the cost of care to treat his schizophrenia.
Catastrophic Personal Injury Lawsuits
A catastrophic personal injury is defined as an injury involving severe damage to the brain, spine, or spinal cord. Some examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Multiple broken bones
These types of injuries may be caused by a car accident, slip and fall accident, athletic participation, assault, or a work-related accident. In these cases, it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent or reckless party that caused the injury.
The lawyers at Bradley/Grombacher understand the devastation that follows a catastrophic injury and they will work tirelessly on your behalf to help you get the maximum amount of injury compensation. Contact the California injury law firm today to schedule a FREE consultation.