Lawsuit Alleges Jail Negligence in Inmate's Death

kern county wrongful death lawsuit

KERN COUNTY, CA (June 3, 2024)A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed following the 2023 death of Stephen Ingle, an inmate at Kern’s Central Receiving Facility, who was allegedly assaulted by fellow inmates and later found beaten and hanged in the shower.


The lawsuit, brought by attorneys representing Ingle’s mother and son, alleges that deputies failed to properly supervise and protect inmates. Ingle’s case is cited as one of ten in-custody deaths reported at Kern detention facilities since January 1, 2023.


According to the suit, adequate supervision measures should have been implemented following the 2011 passage of AB 109, which allowed more inmates to be held at the county level instead of in state prisons. 


The suit claims that since realignment, incidents of inmate-on-inmate assaults have substantially increased at Kern County detention facilities, as have the percentages of gang-affiliated inmates and felons.


Stephen Ingle was arrested on March 1, 2023, and placed in the Central Receiving Facility. On March 4, deputies found Ingle unconscious with a head injury in his communal cell. He was taken to Kern Medical, where he received eight stitches, and then returned to the same cell with the inmates who had assaulted him.


Later that day, at 4:45 p.m., deputies discovered Ingle beaten and hanging in the cell’s shower. Despite efforts to revive him and subsequent intensive care at Adventist Health Bakersfield, Ingle suffered severe hypoxia and cardiac arrest. He was placed on life support and ultimately died on March 29, 2023. This Kern County wrongful death lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, with the amount to be determined at trial.

If you or a loved one has been affected by wrongful death or mistreatment in custody, contact the Bakersfield personal injury lawyers at RTM Law Firm for expert legal assistance. Our experienced team is committed to protecting your rights and helping you navigate the complexities of wrongful death claims.




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