The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Settlement reached in county lawsuit

 

September 12, 2016



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A former Roosevelt County inmate who suffered injuries during a jail escape has reached a settlement agreement in a lawsuit.

County officials and attorneys confirmed a settlement had been reached, but they declined to provide terms because the terms had not been finalized.

Ruben Lozano filed a lawsuit against the county in March after being released from the Roosevelt County Detention Center in September 2015 following more than two years of incarceration.

Lozano was one of two inmates who escaped from the jail in June 2013 and was apprehended a week later in Midland, Texas.

In the lawsuit, Lozano makes the following claims:

• Lozano accrued injuries in the form of fractures to his pelvis and hip during his escape in June 2013. He was not allowed to be treated for the injuries by RCDC staff for more than a month, despite recommendations from a hospital in Midland that he be seen by an orthopedist “within one to two days for further evaluation and treatment.”

• Lozano did not receive treatment until it was court ordered by District Judge Donna Mowrer in July 2013.

• Lozano spent more than a year in solitary confinement, in a small cell in which he had to sleep on the floor and was not given reasons as to why and was denied in his requests to be released.

The lawsuit also stated that a health care professional at the facility dealt with Lozano’s complaints of increased mental health issues from the isolation by increasing his antidepressant medication three times.

Lozano was sentenced to five years probation after reaching a guilty plea agreement in September 2015 for the charges of escaping jail, according to court records.

The lawsuit names three individuals working at RCDC in 2013, including former Administrator David Casanova, as well as Correct Care Solutions, a company that provided health care to inmates at the facility.

Casanova could not be reached for comment.

Lozano’s attorney, Adam Baker, and Roosevelt County Manager Amber

Hamilton both declined comment because they said paperwork had not been finalized.

Baker said the complaint against the health care company is still pending.

Correctional Healthcare declined to comment Monday.

 
 

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