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Subject: LAW

McCune Law Group Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Riverside County Over Concerning Pattern of Inmate Deaths in Riverside County Jails

ONTARIO, Calif., Oct. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Inland Empire Plaintiff law firm McCune Law Group (MLG) has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Riverside County over the death of 25-year-old Mark Spratt ? a Riverside County inmate who is only one of the most recent avoidable deaths in the Riverside County jail system ? at the hands of his cell mate in an altercation that was not stopped by jail staff. The complaint alleges Riverside County jails are displaying a pattern of systemic policy failure regarding the safety of their inmates, citing a marked increase in avoidable inmate deaths beginning in 2022 compared to previous years. In 2022 alone, there were 18 inmate deaths in Riverside County jails, making it the deadliest year in over a decade. The concerningly high number of deaths of inmates in Riverside County jails may be shedding light on an alleged systemic failure driven by draconian policies implemented by Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco, that has claimed the lives of Spratt and too many others. This complaint comes on the heels of a California State Attorney General investigation into Sheriff Bianco due to similar claims.

This civil rights lawsuit against Riverside County and its focus on constitutional rights of individuals in custody calls into question Sheriff Bianco's stance as a constitutionally devoted official. The complaint filed by MLG Personal Injury attorney Brynna Popka outlines the alleged systemic policy failure Spratt faced from the deputies inside the jail. Spratt, who was arrested on non-violent charges, was placed in the same cell with an inmate, who at one point, was placed on the U.S. Marshal's Service most wanted list for a history of criminal offenses including bail jumping, aggravated assault, partner family member assault, and criminal mischief. This violent inmate, Payne, is reported to have towered over Spratt in stature at a staggering 6 feet tall and 274 pounds. On January 11th, Payne and Spratt entered a physical altercation which Riverside County jail staff failed to make any real moves to stop, resulting in Spratt's brutal death. This civil rights complaint alleges how policies under Sheriff Bianco have allowed for, and even encouraged, numerous deaths in a system-wide failure to protect the rights of inmates like Spratt as human beings, first and foremost.

Sheriff Chad Bianco publicly claimed, "Spratt and Payne were housed together in the same cell for three months with no issues." However, Spratt was arrested only two days before his untimely death. "This is one of the many untruths that that County's officials seem to be perpetuating and we anticipate that many more untruths will be uncovered during the course of litigation," Popka remarks, "Spratt's tragic and avoidable death is the result of a system that holds a complete disregard for their inmates. This is an alarming pattern that is coming to light and one we fully intend to investigate further." As inmates in the care of Riverside County, Spratt and the dozens of other individuals who died in custody had rights to safety and security as they awaited the next stage in their court case. MLG believes the County, led by Sheriff Bianco, is demonstrating a consistent and disturbing lack of regard for human life, even for those that are still presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The lawsuit aims to shed light on the purportedly abysmal conditions inmates face in Riverside County jails. MLG also hopes to uncover the cause of the alleged alarming pattern of increased inmate deaths in Riverside County jails and seeks to highlight the stories of those who have wrongfully lost loved ones in custody due to the alleged pattern of neglect and civil rights abuses in Riverside County jails. MLG requests those who have experienced such tragedy contact the Personal Injury team here to pursue justice, if possible.

To arrange comment from Brynna Popka, please contact MLG's Public Relations department at [email protected]

About McCune Law Group: MLG has supported consumer rights and fights for justice for more than 30 years. With offices throughout Southern California in Ontario, Redlands, Irvine, Palm Desert, and Beaumont, MLG has proudly risen to prominence as one of the largest and most successful consumer advocacy law firms in Southern California. MLG also boasts a national presence in the Midwest, Southwest, and East Coast, specializing in practices ranging from product liability and personal injury to civil rights and financial services. MLG's long history of success has resulted in more than $1 billion recovered for clients and an unbeatable team of inventive, innovative, and experienced attorneys. Visit mccunewright.com to learn more.? 

SOURCE McCune Law Group, McCune Wright Arevalo Vercoski Kusel Weck Brandt, APC

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