King County settles jail beating lawsuit with $3M

SEATTLE — King County will pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit filed by an incarcerated man who was severely beaten in 2018 by another person in jail who officials knew was dangerous, psychotic and had a history of attacking his cellmates.

Toby Meagher suffered a traumatic brain injury, broken bones in his face, damaged facial nerves and broken teeth when he was attacked by Troy Leae, who had just been returned to the jail from Western State Hospital where he had assaulted six individuals, including a mental health professional, the Seattle Times reported.

On the day of the assault, corrections officers disregarded Meagher’s pleas to be moved from his cell after Leae had told him he was going to fight him.

Less than an hour later, Meagher was found unconscious on the cell floor after Leae pounded his head against a metal sink, according to documents.

The injuries Meagher suffered “exacerbated his mental disorder and have deeply affected his ability to communicate,” the lawsuit said.

“He spends much of his time confused and upset, constantly revisiting the attack itself, and plagued by nightmares, insomnia, and paranoid thoughts that center specifically around Mr. Leae and the attack.”

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