ADVERTISEMENT

County to pay $750K to settle suit over man’s jail suicide

March 11, 2022 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — King County has agreed to pay $750,000 to the family of a man who killed himself in a Seattle jail after they filed a lawsuit alleging jail officials knew or should have known the man was in crisis but failed to protect him.

Michael Clinard, a Seattle magazine photographer and father of three, had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and bipolar disorder after he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a 2013 assault in New York, according to a lawsuit filed last year in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

In 2017, according to the lawsuit, he assaulted his wife.

While in jail, he was never seen by a mental health expert, even though jail doctors were told about his medications, which the lawsuit said should have alerted them to his mental health issues.

Jail policies prohibited him from receiving some of his medications including lorazepam because they can be abused.

ADVERTISEMENT

Over the following weeks, Clinard sought help for his deteriorating mental state, and others in custody said there was something wrong with him, the lawsuit said.

On July 3, Clinard was found dead in his cell.

Noah Haglund, a spokesperson for the King County Jail, said the jail was prohibited by privacy laws from discussing the circumstances around Clinard’s case but said “we can share that anyone booked into King County jails undergoes an extensive health screening by an intake nurse” to check for risk factors.