Tulsa County Jail, Estate Settle Elliott Williams Lawsuit For $10 Million

Tuesday, November 12th 2019, 9:09 pm
By: Robert McCarty

More than eight years after an inmate died in the Tulsa County Jail, the county is agreeing to pay $10 million to his estate.

Owasso police arrested Elliott Williams in October 2011 on an obstruction complaint. Williams' attorneys said he broke his neck in jail and begged staff for help.

Surveillance video from the jail shows he laid on his cell floor for five days with staff tossing trays of food at his feet, and placing water out of his reach. It even shows staff transfer him to another cell by pulling him on a blanket.

In 2017, a federal jury decided the county should pay $10 million for Williams' rights violations and death. The estate attorneys said the county agreed to drop its challenge earlier today.

Related Story - Jury: Tulsa County To Pay $10M In Elliott Williams Jail Death 

The following is a full statement from the estate attorneys: 

The Estate is pleased that a settlement has been reached with Tulsa County. After nearly eight (8) years of hard-fought litigation, the case is now resolved once and for all. Along the way, we had the privilege of bringing Mr. Williams’ story to light. It is a story that should never be forgotten. The suffering that Mr. Williams endured, and the inhumane treatment he encountered at the Tulsa County Jail, simply cannot be tolerated in a civilized society. The comprehensive opinion and order entered earlier this year by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals is a landmark, and will be cited in civil rights cases for years to come. This will be Elliott’s legacy. The amount of the settlement is believed to be Oklahoma’s largest ever in a civil rights death case. It is a complete resolution of all issues in the case.  The Estate agreed to this settlement, in part, to avoid additional delays, arguments and possible appeals concerning the issue of “setoff”. It is the Estate’s hope that the settlement will provide deterrence for future civil rights violations. Section 1983 provides a vehicle for ordinary citizens to hold governmental officials accountable for civil rights violations. This case is proof that even the most powerful governmental officials can be held responsible for maintaining an unconstitutional medical delivery system.
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