County of Humboldt continues lawsuit losing streak; moves record to 0-104

Well, if there’s one thing that we can depend on the County of Humboldt to do, it’s to lose lawsuits. And not minor lawsuits, no – lawsuits that end up costing the taxpayer millions of dollars.

In the latest round, the County is paying out $2.5 million for a wrongful death case involving a man who apparently died of a methampethamine overdose while in custody. The details are grim, and it does sound to THC like the County got a bit of a raw deal in the verdict which found them liable for such a huge sum. Here’s a link to a North Coast Journal article on the issue:

Federal Jury Hits County with $2.5 Million Wrongful Death Verdict

Now, aside from the tragedy of the death and whether you think the County screwed up or not, consider this – the County is strongly considering appealing the verdict and risk paying even more of taxpayer money. According to the Times-Standard, up to a million more dollars.

Remember that piece we did a while back about how the County lost a suit to little ol’ HUMMAP over the County marijuana ordinance? (Refresh yourself if need be: Lawsuits: County 0, everyone else and 103 (with pictures!))

Well, back then we had a good time poking fun at the County for their stupid legal decisions. This time, however, we’re not laughing – and you shouldn’t be either.

Although you may be shocked to hear this, THC’s brain trust is not made up of a bunch of lawyers. That being said, we can’t help but feel that the County’s appeal against the initial decision has some merit – or, it would, if the people the County has in charge of arguing their defense had a lick of smarts and legal capability.

As their track record has shown, this simply is not the case. Unfortunately, Jeffrey Blanck has been no improvement over previous County Counsel’s, and we’re sure that history will continue to repeat itself should the County foolishly decide to appeal. It also looks like the general incompetence of the County Counsel’s office extends past Blanck, as we can see with Nancy Delaney, the County’s representative in this case.

Delaney lamented that “she wasn’t better able to communicate her case to the jury,” but her poor communication skills apparently didn’t stop there. She is adamant about filing motions to  dismiss the case, even after the presiding judge had this to say: “Let’s just be clear…the evidence was pretty substantial in a variety of ways — as I’ve said before — so the likelihood I’m going to overturn a verdict is pretty low.”

But go ahead, County of Humboldt – go ahead and waste more of our money by flying in the face of legal wisdom. We’re very happy to continue funding your losing record.

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9 Responses to County of Humboldt continues lawsuit losing streak; moves record to 0-104

  1. Rusty says:

    We need to rotate local attorneys like Bill Bragg, Zack Zwerling who are actually wining case’s. Paying there fee’s would save us money and with no salary’s or retirements it’s a win win. Oh but wait that doesn’t help the whole Cal Pers pyramid scheme does it. What are our County insurance premiums up to now with this latest lost?


    • Anonymous says:

      Lest you forget that none other than Stupidvisor Ryan Sundberg suggested that the Counties best solution to losing lawsuits was to pay higher premiums to lower the deductible the County pays every time they lose. That idiot couldn’t even understand that a better solution might be not to get into losing suits in the first place. I suppose thats’ what we should expect from someone who couldn’t even make it in the family insurance business. Pat Cleary would have been a far better choice.


      • Rusty says:

        Cleary, that’s absurd. The leader of the local Communist Liberal Progressive People’s Party of Humboldt. Not a good fit. Your attacking of a hard-working Native American, successful business person labels you a Racist.


      • Anonymous says:

        Who said anything about Sundberg being Native American? I said he’s an idiot which is true but that has nothing to do with ethnicity. There are stupid people in all ethnic groups and brilliant ones too. This stupid one just happens to be Native American. Nothing racist about it other than your bringing it into the discussion.

        As far as it being an absurd idea I couldn’t agree more. Check the record, it was Stupidvisor Sundberg’s plan and the rest of them went along with it. We are actually paying increased liability premiums to lower the deductible because they keep losing lawsuits. No one even brought up the concept of maybe not pursuing stupid lawsuits as a way of saving even more money.


      • Rusty says:

        I apologise, I did not make my sarcasm plan enough. The problem is not the pursuit of stupid lawsuits. It’s losing lawsuits because we have inept representation.


    • Anonymous says:

      Actually Bill Bragg is bailing out on this shithole as soon as he can sell his house.


  2. Robert Poyourow says:

    I am Daren’s step-father. Some of my comments appear in other blogs (see, for instance, the Tulowat Examiner). But just to give you some caution about the strength of any appeal, here’s what the Judge wrote in her August 30 Order denying the defendant’s Motion for Judgment at pp. 2-3:

    “Third, the failure of the defendant officers to testify in an honest and forthright manner entitled the jury to discount the defendant officers’ version of the facts entirely.”


    “[S]everal defendants and third-parties testified that the County’s medical screening policy was more akin to a guideline, and that officers were not required to adhere to its specifics.”

    Of course, I am husband to a party and hardly neutral. Even so, the jury heard all the evidence and ruled unanimously. I think the jury found it impossible to square the officers’ testimony with what was revealed in the jail video. The judge apparently agreed.


  3. sammy says:

    I wonder when or if the time will come that the residents of our beautiful county will ever see fit to rise up in an organized peaceful fashion to the Board of Supervisors to oust yet another idiotic county counsel…. To hear from someone in that office staff say that Jeff ‘tried’ to give legal advice to the Supervisors only to be ignored or told to “find a way to do what we want to do” or to is bovine droppings. Or, maybe its not. If that is the case who is keeping track of the dollars in insurance defense that we are paying this Board of Stupidvisors?


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