Children of Man Left to Die in Sacramento County Jail File Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Civil rights law firm Haddad & Sherwin LLP announced today that it has filed a federal court lawsuit against Sacramento County, its jail managers and medical staff involved in Anthony Galley’s death on February 15, 2022, after two days in a crowded holding cell without medical care. Jail monitors appointed by the federal court in the jail medical care class action, Mays v. Sacramento County, 2:18-cv-02081-TLN-KJN (E.D. Cal.), later wrote that Mr. Galley, age 37, was likely in “severe alcohol withdrawal” and had not been evaluated or treated by jail medical providers by the time of his death in a filthy, overcrowded cell. The County Jail already was governed by a Consent Decree stemming from the jail’s lack of necessary, life-saving care for persons undergoing substance withdrawal. The same callous indifference to inmates’ medical needs persisted, leading to Mr. Galley’s death. The Complaint names former-Sheriff Scott Jones, Jail Commander Anthony Paonessa, Jail Medical Director Veer Babu, M.D., and jail intake nurse Erica Woods, R.N.

The lawsuit is brought by Mr. Galley’s daughter, now age 14, and his son, now age 8. The lawsuit brings civil rights claims alleging violation of Mr. Galley’s constitutional and other rights. A copy of the Complaint filed today in United States District Court for the Eastern District of California is available upon request.

On February 13, 2022, Anthony Galley was arrested in connection with an altercation that happened at a Super Bowl party. Mr. Galley was attempting to leave the party in his car after a guest wanted to fight him. Apparently, the guest claimed he was injured by Mr. Galley’s car as he clung to the car when it drove away. Mr. Galley had voluntarily pulled over to the side of the road.   Police nearby arrested Mr. Galley on a hit and run charge. He was taken to the Sacramento County Jail, already known for its overcrowding and lack of adequate medical care. According to Mr. Galley’s medical records, Jail Monitors’ records, and interviews with other inmates, he was never evaluated or treated for alcohol withdrawal, despite his repeated requests for medical care.

Anthony Galley had a long history of alcohol dependence and withdrawal, of which the jail was aware from prior alcohol and drug-related bookings. Despite those disabilities, he appeared in good shape and exercised daily. He worked as a solar installer and frequently saw his children, who lived primarily with their mother.

Michael Haddad, one of the family’s attorneys, says: “Anthony Galley’s unnecessary death is a tremendous loss for his young children. Sacramento County knew that its jail had been caught allowing people awaiting trials to die from lack of medical care. It is hard to imagine how they could let this to happen again.”

Julia Sherwin, another family attorney, says, “Anthony, like one-in-eight adults in this country, suffered from alcohol dependence. The severe alcohol withdrawal that killed him is 100% preventable. If the jail had just followed detox protocols, Anthony would still be alive.”

To interview attorney Michael Haddad or Julia Sherwin of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, please call or email them as listed below.

A photo of Mr. Galley on his wedding day is here.

ABOUT HADDAD & SHERWIN LLP. Founded in 1998 by Michael Haddad and Julia Sherwin, Haddad & Sherwin LLP is an Oakland law firm representing people in serious civil rights, police and jail misconduct, and wrongful death cases. For more information, visit


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