Can one file a personal injury suit against a county jail if, for example, a detainee was exposed to a person who had a prior history of trying to kill an inmate and then after 60 days stabbed another?


With a few exceptions, public entities are immune from liability for injuries caused by any prisoner to another prisoner while an inmate of a “prison, jail or penal or correctional facility” [Gov.C. § 844.6(a)].  This also applies to claims that derive from any injury to a prisoner—i.e., public entities are immune from loss of consortium liability to an injured prisoner’s spouse (or registered domestic partner) and from wrongful death liability to the prisoner’s heirs.

Therefore, there could be no claim against the government institution, except for injuries legally caused by a public employee’s “negligent or wrongful act or omission” [Gov.C. § 844.6(d)].

To know if a prisoner may or may not have any claim against a public entity for injuries sustained while detained, it is best to consult with a lawyer who is an expert in personal injury cases.

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