- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The woman accused of kicking her 9-year-old son to death has filed a civil suit against Bernalillo County saying Metropolitan Detention Center staff violated her civil rights physically and medically.

Synthia Varela-Casaus and another inmate, Gayla Gallegos, filed a civil case against the county and Corrective Care Solutions, the jail’s medical provider, KOB-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1Fasi0a).

The lawsuit says the inmates were injured in a prisoner transport vehicle. The two were shackled into the van without access to seat belts when the driver hit something, and the lawsuit claims they didn’t receive proper treatment after they were slammed into the vehicle’s partition.

The complaint also says a nurse practitioner prescribed Varela-Casaus Bactrim, an ear infection medication, knowing it would cause her an allergic reaction.

County officials did not respond to requests for comment from KOB.

Varela-Casaus faces charges stemming from the December 2013 death of Omaree Varela. She has pleaded not guilty. Her trial is scheduled for October.

Todd Franks is Varela-Casaus’s public defender, and he confirmed attorney Anthony James Ayala filed the civil suit on his client’s behalf.

Ayala could not be reached for comment, but court filings say Varela-Casaus is seeking both compensation and punitive damages.


Information from: KOB-TV, https://www.kob.com

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