Just when one door closes another one opens. That is not necessarily good news for the Orange County Commissioners Court. The Montano vs Orange County lawsuit was finally put behind the county Tuesday with the payment of over $3 million to the Montano family for the wrongful death of Robert Montano in the Orange County Jail back in 2011. County Judge Brint Carlton said the release of judgment is all that remains in that case. Carlton indicated the presiding judge in the civil case is out of the country, but should be back next week and the release of judgment will be signed at that time.
On Tuesday the Commissioners and Judge Carlton heard details from Assistant County Attorney Doug Manning about another lawsuit filed against the county by an inmate who was abused in the Orange County County Jail in January of 2015. Jerry Carthel alleges in his lawsuit former Orange County jailer Brian David Lee slammed him into the concrete floor of the jail. The lawsuit was filed last month on January 20 in a Beaumont federal court.
The jailer Lee was prosecuted for assaulting Carthel, and was sentenced last February to 30 days in the county jail for misdemeanor assault. Carthel is seeking payment for back and future medical bills associated with the incident. Carlton responded, “This is now a civil case and we’ll be filing our answer shortly.”