ORANGE CITY—The Sioux County Board of Supervisors approved a pair of $50,000 settlements after going into closed session on Tuesday, May 12.
Through its coverage in the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool, the county has an insurance deductible of $5,000 per claim.
The first $50,000 settlement was in regards to a lawsuit filed by the estate of Dustin Lee Herbst.
The lawsuit against the county and five members of its jail staff had been filed by the estate of the 29-year-old on June 7, 2019, in Sioux County District Court in Orange City.
Herbst had committed suicide in January 2018 while he was being held at the county jail in Orange City.
His estate sought monetary damages on claims of wrongful death — negligence under Iowa common law and unreasonable detention and/or denial of medical care in violation of the Iowa Constitution and the U.S. Constitution.
At the time of his death, Herbst was a federal inmate being held on drug charges at the Sioux County Jail for the U.S. Marshals Service.
Herbst had been booked into the county jail on Dec. 18, 2017, and he had been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of:
- Conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance — methamphetamine.
- Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance — meth.
- Possession of a firearm — a .22-caliber revolver — in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
The supervisors similarly approved a $50,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed by Kamie Jo Schiebout.
The Sioux Center woman sued the county and four members of its jail staff for negligence.
In her lawsuit, Schiebout said she made multiple requests for mental health services that were ignored by jail staff after she was booked on Nov. 21, 2017, according to federal court documents.
On Dec. 5, 2017, Schiebout attempted to commit suicide while in jail. She survived but was injured and required hospitalization.
The lawsuit was filed in Sioux County District Court on Nov. 7, but later moved to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa in Sioux City.
She had been booked Nov. 21, 2017, after a standoff with deputies from the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office outside of a rural Sioux Center residence.
The deputies were trying to serve her an arrest warrant stemming from a second-degree theft case.
During processing at the jail, Schiebout told jail staff she had a mental illness, previously had been hospitalized for mental health reasons, previously had been prescribed anti-depression medication and previously had experienced suicidal thoughts, according to the lawsuit.
Schiebout sought damages for:
- Past and future medical and pharmaceutical expenses.
- Past and future pain and suffering.
- Past and future emotional distress.
- Lost wages and/or loss of function.
- Loss of ability to enjoy life.