City pays $50,000 to settle wrongful death lawsuit | Paterson Times

City pays $50,000 to settle wrongful death lawsuit


City officials recently settled a wrongful death lawsuit over the hanging death of an inmate, who was allegedly beaten by police officers and whose medical needs were neglected by jail guards, costing taxpayers $50,000.

Ronald Fabian, the inmate, was arrested by police officers Suriel, Regan, and McDowell on September 12th, 2009. During the course the arrest, Fabian was “kicked, punched, assaulted, and battered resulting in injuries” requiring hospital treatment. He was admitted to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center for treatment after which he was transferred to city police lockup.

The federal lawsuit filed by Maritza Bonilla, mother to Fabian, alleged guards at the city’s jail inflicted physical pain on her son. “Guards at the Paterson City Jail were denying medical attention, not properly protecting and supervising inmates, using excessive force to intentionally and deliberately inflict upon inmates unnecessary and wanton injury, pain and suffering, as well as retaliate against inmates for exercising their [constitutional] rights,” reads the lawsuit.

While in lockup, Fabian sought medical attention; however, those “requests were ignored,” states the suit.

On September 13th, 2009, at about 1:30 p.m., a day after he was arrested, Fabian hung himself inside the jail cell. Bonilla alleges in the suit that her son died from the injuries he received at the hands of the police officers and the jail guards. “Fabian died as a result of injuries deliberately, wantonly and maliciously inflicted upon him,” reads the suit.

Council members approved $50,000 to settle the lawsuit during a special meeting on December 2nd, 2014 without public discussion.