Press-Enterprise — The parents of a Hemet man who suffered serious brain damage from a suicide attempt in custody are suing the state and county, alleging that their son did not receive adequate mental health care or psychiatric medications while incarcerated.
Christopher Dylan Godair, now 22, attempted suicide while he was being held at the Southwest Detention Center in French Valley on April 8, 2011, the suit alleges. Then, while incarcerated for robbery and false imprisonment at Centinela State Prison, Godair overdosed on illicit drugs in another suicide attempt Nov. 28, 2011, according to the court complaint. The overdose left him with permanent brain damage.
He received compassionate early release from prison in March 2012 due to his disability. Godair requires constant care from his parents, according to the family’s attorney, Russell Fuerst. He is unable to do routine tasks on his own, such as dressing and going to the bathroom, Fuerst said.
Fuerst called Godair’s situation tragic.
“He struggles with just basic daily activities,” he said. “He’s got a lot of challenges right now.”
The family claims in the lawsuit that prison officials knew or should have known that Godair had attempted suicide in the past and had been diagnosed with psychiatric disorders for which he required prescription medication. The lawsuit accuses the state and county of negligence, indifference and violating Godair’s civil rights.
Officials with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said they do not comment on pending litigation.
According to the complaint, Godair had attempted suicide by overdosing on drugs while out of custody in October 2010. Sheriff’s deputies found him in his car in a 7-Eleven parking lot in San Jacinto. Godair was taken to a hospital for treatment and a few days later involuntarily held in a psychiatric facility for a mental evaluation. continue reading...