Deborah Braillard case: MCSO jail death lawsuit ends with $3.25 million settlement

PHOENIX - Maricopa County taxpayers are set to pay $3.25 million for the death of a diabetic woman inside Maricopa County Jail.

County supervisors will approve the settlement amount in an open meeting Wednesday.

The ABC15 Investigators were the only Valley news organization to cover the civil trial over Deborah Braillard's death.

After three weeks of testimony, attorneys for Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the county abruptly ended the trial and offered the settlement to the Braillard family to prevent the case from going to a jury.

A jury verdict could have been many times higher than the settlement because a judge ruled that the Braillard family was allowed to seek compensatory and punitive damages.

In 2005, Deborah Braillard was deprived insulin and denied medical care for three days inside the Estrella Jail, records show.  

She died after slipping into a diabetic coma.

Her daughter, Jennifer, brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the county, which took seven years to reach trial.  

On the stand, Jennifer Braillard testified for several hours.

When asked what she thinks about when she looks back at her mother's death, Jennifer said she wishes her mother could meet her grandchildren.

"I didn't get to share the experience of becoming a mom with her," Jennifer said crying.

County officials had refused to settle the case until this week.

The Braillard case has cost taxpayers more than $1.8 million in attorney's fees alone.

The settlement adds to the $25 million that's already been paid out for jail death cases since Arpaio took office.

The settlement also comes after several days of dramatic testimony that exposed serious mistakes, a long history of problems in the jails and attempts to cover-up and alter documents related to Braillard's death.

In fact, on Tuesday at 10 p.m., the ABC15 Investigators will expose several key pieces of evidence destroyed or altered to cover-up what happened.

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