Last year, San Diego County instituted new protocols to cut down on inmates taking their lives in jail. The county has generally had a worse record on jail suicides than other California counties.
On August 5 of this year, Rochelle Nishimoto, mother of a man who had committed suicide in jail, filed suit against the county for negligence, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and violation of 14th Amendment rights.The suit was filed in federal court.
Last September, there was a family dispute in the Nishimoto household. Jason Nishomoto, Rochelle's son and a paranoid schizophrenic, had attempted to take his own life. His brother called the sheriff's office. Nishimoto was taken to Tri-City Medical Center. According to the suit, during the previous five months, Jason had attempted suicide four times before being taken to Tri-City.
Despite this record, according to the suit, in 59 minutes, Jason was cleared from Tri-City and transported to the Vista Detention Facility. It allegedly knew his history of suicide attempts, but, according to the suit, he was not given his medications or seen by a psychiatrist. After a few days, he hanged himself.
Rochelle Nishimoto charges the county with "deliberate indifference to Jason's serious medical needs that led to his death." The suit asks for compensation, according to proof revealed at trial.