Firm News

PRESS RELEASE: Lawsuit Filed for Death of a Young Mother in Orange County Jail Custody

June 18, 2024

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On May 6, 2023, a 40-year-old mother, Niki Capaci, was found dead in her cell in the Orange County Jail. She is survived by seven young children, two siblings, her parents, and numerous other loved ones.

Immediately after she was taken into custody on May 3, 2023, Ms. Capaci reported to the Jail that she had recently used drugs, requiring withdrawal management. Over the next three days, Ms. Capaci repeatedly went to the Jail's medical unit in a deteriorating physical condition, which indicated that the detox given by the Jail was ineffective for her. Nonetheless, the Jail personnel repeatedly discharged Ms. Capaci to her cell, without taking her to a hospital or inpatient detox program. After three days in custody, she was found dead.

The autopsy conducted by the County states that Ms. Capaci died from drug intoxication. However, the reality is not that simple. Drug withdrawal can be fatal unless carefully managed. Therefore, jails have protocols in place to ensure that detainees are given proper detoxification and monitoring. If they fail to follow these protocols, jail personnel can be held liable.

On June 19, 2024, on behalf of Ms. Capaci's family, Jachyun Oh, Esq., of the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm, LLP, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against Orange County as well as Wellpath—a company that contracts medical care to Orange County Jail. The lawsuit alleges that the jail personnel, as well as Wellpath contractors, failed to follow their own protocols and were deliberately indifferent to Ms. Capaci's serious medical needs. The Capaci family, with the support of the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm, seeks to safeguard the detainees' right to medical care and ensure that a tragedy like Ms. Capaci's does not happen again.