Attorney Argues Jurors In Elliott Williams Trial Didn’t Have All The Facts
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - Attorney Clark Brewster is speaking out after a jury awarded $10 million to the family of Elliott Williams after his death at the Tulsa County jail.
Brewster represented the sheriff's office.
He said there are two things about the trial he wants people to know:
- First, he doesn’t believe the 10-minute video everyone saw accurately represents what happened to Williams.
- Second, he wasn't allowed to tell the jury the Williams family had already been paid millions.
Brewster said Williams was in a jail cell about 51 hours and less than five hours was actually recorded or stored on the jail's video system. Of that, he said the jurors saw only a 10-minute version.
It shows Williams laying on a bare floor with food and water just out of reach until medical help arrived, and then it was too late.
Brewster said the tape left out too much and was edited to repeat over and over, which he said made it sensational.
"It was selected to show something not consistent with the truth," he said.
Brewster said the jail hired an outside medical company to run the medical wing at the jail and that company is the one who diagnosed and gave medical care to Williams. He said they admitted negligence and paid the Williams family already.
"They were sued and settled this case for millions of dollars but the judge wouldn't let us tell the jury that," he said.
We were not able to confirm the amount of the settlement because it was confidential.
Brewster said to hold Tulsa County and taxpayers accountable after someone else already paid for the issues isn't fair.
He said he's not blaming the jurors. He said they reached their verdict without all the pertinent facts.
Brewster said he plans to appeal the jury's verdict.
Statements from Williams' family attorney Daniel Smolen:
"The amount of the settlement with CHC is confidential under the Court’s Local Rules. Thus, we are forbidden from disclosing the settlement amount. We are curious to know where Mr. Brewster received his information about the settlement amount."
The Video of Mr. Williams:
"Mr. Brewster’s comment that the video of the last 51 hours of Mr. Williams’ life was “sensationalized,” underscores the continuing deliberate indifference of the County and its counsel. We presented the video to the jury in its native format. What the video shows is the most unconscionable, inhumane, barbaric and undignified mistreatment of a human being imaginable. There was no need for us to “sensationalize” anything. The evidence in this case was shocking enough and needed no embellishment. Our expert in correctional medicine, Dr. Scott Allen, testified that it was the worst treatment of an inmate he has seen in his entire career. The verdict was just. The jury got it right. It is frankly pathetic that Mr. Brewster is continuing to make excuses for Mr. Williams' unnecessary and prolonged suffering and death. It shows that he has learned nothing from jury’s verdict. Make no mistake. Mr. Brewster lost. And if he continues to defend these cases in the same manner, his clients will lose again. It is time for the County to take ownership of its many failures and to chart a new course in the civil rights litigation against it. We stand ready to seek a reasonable and fair resolution."