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Date: 08-23-2023

Case Style:

Mark Basilica and Roberta Basilica v. Sheriff Roger L. Harris, et al.

Case Number: 3:22-cv-00382

Judge: John A. Gibney, Jr.

Court: United States District Court for the Easter District of Virginia (Henrico County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: Mark Dix

Defendant's Attorney: William Daniel Prince, IV, Rachel Willer Adams, and William Woodul Tunner

Description: Richmond, Virginia civil rights lawyer represented Plaintiffs who sued the defendants on civil rights wrongful death theories.

On August 30, 2020, Theresa Marie Basilica ("Basilica") went to the emergency department at Mary Washington Hospital, seeking help during a mental health crisis. Eighteen hours later, she died ofa self-inflicted gunshot while in the defendants' custody. Mark and Roberta Basilica, as the administrators of their daughter's estate, filed suit against Spotsylvania County Sheriff Roger L. Harris ("Harris"), Rachel Vega ("Vega"), and1 Jason Morris ("Morris"). In their amended complaint, the plaintiffs sue the defendants for wrongful death under Virginia law, civil rights violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") and Rehabilitation Act. The defendants move to dismiss all counts.

This case presents unusual facts. Essentially, the plaintiffs say that Basilica posed a known risk of suicide, that she had hidden a pistol in her bra, that the deputy sheriffs did not check her for weapons, and that their failure to do so resulted in her killing herself with the hidden gun. She says that this amounts to a) gross or willful negligence under Virginia law, b) an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment, and c) deliberate indifference to her medical needs under the Fourteenth Amendment. They also say that the Sheriff is liable for failure to train the officers to prevent suicides.

Outcome: 08/23/2023 38 Minute Entry for proceedings held before District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr.:Motion Hearing held on 8/23/2023 re 37 Amended MOTION for Approval of Wrongful Death Settlement filed by Roberta Basilica, Mark Basilica; the Court approves the settlement (Court Reporter G. Halasz, OCR.)(wtuc) (Entered: 08/23/2023)
08/23/2023 39 ORDER APPROVING WRONGFUL DEATH SETTLEMENT re 37 Amended MOTION for Approval of Wrongful Death Settlement filed by Roberta Basilica, Mark Basilica; the Court grants the motion. Signed by District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. on 8/23/23. (wtuc) (Entered: 08/23/2023)

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