JLF Piedmont Triad Blog

Guilford County settles inmate death

Guilford County has paid $475,000 to settle a legal liability claim following the death of an inmate in the county jail. WXII reports:

County leaders also entered into a confidentiality agreement with the family to keep the settlement out of the public eye, WXII’s Bill O’Neil reported Wednesday evening.

Twenty-one year-old Christopher Mason Armstrong died while an inmate of the Guilford County Jail in Greensboro two days after Christmas in 2010.

The official cause of death was blood clot to the lungs. A spokesman for the coroner’s office said it was likely caused when he was restrained in jail.

The Rhino reports the payment “is thought to be the largest amount the county has ever paid” to settle such a claim.

County commissioners who were briefed on the matter feared they would have to pay much more had the case gone to court. Scott Yost also cites a source saying that Prison Health Services (PHS) — the contractor providing medical care to the county’s prisons at the time, has also settled for a payment much higher that what the county is paying.

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