Inmate Gustavo Ramirez, 73, of Rialto, Died After Fall At West Valley Detention Center In Rancho Cucamonga

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIFORNIA (December 21, 2023) – An inmate identified as Gustavo Ramirez has tragically died after being injured in a fall at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

San Bernardino County officials are saying that the incident took place around 2:00 a.m. on December 2. Gustavo Ramirez was injured in a fall inside of his cell.

He was transported to the hospital but was later discharged after about 1 hour. Shortly after that time, he was taken back to the hospital. His condition continued to decline over the next two weeks.

On December 16, Gustavo Ramirez went into cardiac arrest at the hospital and was later pronounced dead. A full investigation into the incident remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Rancho Cucamonga Inmate Deaths

Prisons can be particularly dangerous places for the elderly. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, “Prisons are unhealthy places for anyone of any age, but keeping older adults locked up is particularly dangerous. A robust body of research shows that incarceration itself accelerates aging: people face more chronic and life-threatening illnesses earlier than we would expect outside of prison, and physiological signs of aging occur in people younger than expected.” There are a number of steps that jails should take to protect elderly inmates.

  • Elderly inmates should get regular medical assessments.
  • Certain elderly inmates may need to be placed in specialized housing.
  • Jail staff should be trained to recognize the signs that an inmate is going through medical distress.

All jails have a legal obligation to protect inmates from reasonably foreseeable sources of harm. This includes harm brought on due to a fall. Falls are largely preventable inside of jails. They tend to take place when jails fail to follow certain safety protocols. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any inmate death.

  • Medical records relating to the death should be preserved.
  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • Surveillance footage from within the jail should be sought.
  • An independent autopsy may need to be performed.

Depending on the facts of any case, a jail or private medical provider could face civil liability if an inmate in their care dies. Failing to give an inmate adequate healthcare is a violation of their rights afforded under the constitution. The family of any person that died in custody may have legal recourse through a constitutional claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.


Investigating Inmate Deaths At The West Valley Detention Center

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Gustavo Ramirez. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our hope that greater oversight of this jail will help prevent other tragedies like this.

Do you need more information about an inmate death at the West Valley Detention Center? 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. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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