HENRICO, Va. (AP) — The family of a man who died while handcuffed and pinned to the floor for about 11 minutes as he was being admitted to a Virginia psychiatric hospital has reached an $8.5 million settlement with the state, county and the sheriff whose deputies were involved in restraining the man.
A judge approved the wrongful death settlement Tuesday, according to an agreement filed in Henrico Circuit District Court.
Irvo Otieno, 28, died in March while handcuffed and pinned to the floor of Central State Hospital for about 11 minutes by seven Henrico County sheriff’s deputies and three hospital employees.
His death was ruled a homicide by asphyxiation. All 10 defendants were indicted on second-degree murder charges, but charges against two of the hospital employees were later dropped.
Otieno’s family has said he had a long history of mental health problems and was struggling to breathe while he was being held down. Some of the defendants’ lawyers have said that Otieno was combative and they were simply trying to restrain him.
The settlement agreement says the state, county and the sheriff have not admitted any liability and deny that their actions caused Otieno’s death, but have agreed to collectively pay the $8.5 million to Otieno’s family.
Elaine Hadley is a dedicated journalist covering the ever-evolving landscape of U.S. news. With a keen interest in politics and a commitment to uncovering the truth, she provides insightful commentary and in-depth analysis on domestic issues. When not reporting, Elaine enjoys exploring the diverse cultures and landscapes of the United States.