SF jail inmate 'fight club' lawsuit settled for $90K

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - San Francisco supervisors are expected to give final approval today to a $90,000 settlement of a lawsuit filed by jail inmates who alleged they were forced to fight gladiator-style by sheriff's deputies.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in March by civil rights attorney John Burris on behalf of inmates Ricardo Palikiko-Garcia, Stanley Harris and Keith Dwayne Richardson

The inmates, who will divide the settlement amongst themselves, alleged that in March 2015, deputies forced them to fight each other, took their food from them and made them gamble to get it back, among other allegations.

The San Francisco District Attorney's Office brought criminal charges in March against three of the deputies: Scott Neu, Eugene Jones and Clifford Chiba.

Neu, who is no longer with the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, was charged with assault under the color of authority, issuing criminal threats, inflicting cruel and unusual punishment and inhumanity against inmates in his care.

Jones is charged with assault under the color of authority, inflicting cruel and unusual punishment and willfully failing to perform an official duty, Chiba with inflicting cruel and unusual punishment and willfully failing to perform an official duty.

All three deputies are out on bail, with Neu and Jones scheduled to return to court later this month and Chiba in September.

The suit also names a fourth deputy, Evan Staehely, as being present for the fights, but no criminal charges were filed against him.

The allegations against the deputies emerged last year after an inmate's family member reported them to Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who made them public.

San Francisco City Attorney's Office spokesman Matt Dorsey declined to comment on the settlement.