Garfield County legal costs soar in lawsuit |

Garfield County legal costs soar in lawsuit

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Garfield County has paid nearly $570,000 in outside attorney fees to defend a lawsuit alleging prisoners at the county jail have been subjected to excessive force.

The lawsuit, which hasn’t gone to trial yet, was filed in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union.

It alleges prisoners have been wrongly shot with Tasers, pepper-ball guns and pepper spray, placed in restraint chairs, denied mental-health care and punished without due process.

Sheriff Lou Vallario denies prisoners have been mistreated and calls the lawsuit frivolous and ridiculous.

The case is a class-action lawsuit, and county attorney Don Deford says that has increased legal fees because of huge amount of interviews and document research required.

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