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County to pay Montano family

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

 

Orange County Commissioners Court met in closed session on Tuesday to discuss the Robert Montano case and agreed to pay $3.175 million awarded to the family in the lawsuit fled after his death inside the Orange County Correctional Facility on Oct. 12, 2011.

A ruling issued last week by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans upholds the 2015 award.

“The case is still in open litigations, so we cannot say much at this time,” County Judge Stephen ‘Brint’ Carlton said. “We did authorize to pay $3.175 million on or before February 15.”

Carlton also said a more in-depth statement would be issued after final payment.

A new trail motion was denied because the appeals court did not feel the awarded damages were excessive.

In the document it further reads: “There is no denying Mr. Montano was punished. The record demonstrates the county denied him medical care with the expectation that he would heal himself.”

Montano, 41, of Orangefield, was arrested on Oct. 7, 2011 by Orange County deputies for public intoxication. He was reportedly under the influence of bath salts according to a previously published Orange Leader article.

Montano was placed in a medical observation cell for five days until his death, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states Montano, who was a known mental health patient, did not receive ‘basic human needs’ consisting of medical and mental health care, food or water during his incarceration.