Gehagan v. Board of County Commissioners, El Paso County

Criminal Justice
Case No. 01CV1451, District Court, El Paso County
ACLU Case No. 2000-14


This wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit was filed on behalf of the family of Andrew Spillane, a pre-trial detainee who died in the El Paso County Jail in Colorado Springs from seizures caused by severe alcohol withdrawal, shortly after deputies pepper-sprayed him in the confined space of a special detention cell. The lawsuit alleges that jail officials responded to the symptoms of Spillane’s medical condition as a behavioral problem and failed to provide the necessary medical care that would easily have saved his life. The lawsuit seeks money damages from Correctional Medical Services, the jail’s privately owned medical contractor, as well as the County. The family obtained a favorable monetary settlement in 2002.


Gerald P. McDermott
Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado Legal Director

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