Inmate Eric Johnson, of Oakland, Died While Staying At The Santa Rita Jail In Dublin

DUBLIN, CALIFORNIA (February 10, 2024) – A 53-year-old inmate identified as Eric Johnson has tragically died while staying at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

Alameda County officials are saying that the incident began Thursday morning. Eric Johnson was in the custodial reception center in a single occupancy cell.

Jail officials noticed around 5:15 a.m. that he was unresponsive. Deputies and custodial staff began life-saving measures.

But those efforts were not successful. Eric Johnson was ultimately pronounced dead around 5:30 a.m. that same day. A full investigation into the cause of the death remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Inmate Deaths At The Santa Rita Jail

The Santa Rita Jail has faced a number of lawsuits for the treatment of inmates. According to the Davis Vanguard, “A number of lawsuits have been filed against Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail concerning the rumored mistreatment of incarcerated people and the facility’s inability to hire trained officers qualified to be employed in their department.” There are reports that lax security measures have allowed drugs, weapons and mobile devices to easily enter the jail.

  • Inmates with severe substance abuse have been denied attention and professional help.
  • Inmates with mental health disorders have not been given proper treatment.
  • Inmates have had to live in cells covered in mold and decaying food.

Depending on the facts of any case, a jail or private healthcare provider could be liable for the death of an inmate. Jails must provide all inmates with adequate care for their medical conditions. This must begin when an inmate is first admitted. Inmates should get a health screening to reveal any underlying health conditions. There are a number of ways that a jail may have failed to properly care for an inmate.

  • Jail officials may have failed to get an inmate the medication that they needed.
  • Jail officials may have failed to get an inmate to the hospital in a timely manner.
  • Jail officials may have failed to recognize the signs an inmate was in medical distress.

It can be hard to know where to begin after any inmate death. Jails will do everything that they can to deny responsibility for an inmate death. Indeed, jails are quick to label inmate deaths as “natural.” But the fact of the matter is that many inmate deaths involve some amount of medical neglect. The family of any person that died in a county jail may have legal recourse through a civil claim.


Investigating Inmate Deaths At The Santa Rita Jail

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Eric Johnson. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.

Do you need more information about an inmate death at the Santa Rita Jail? You may have legal recourse? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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