Otieno family agrees to $8.5M wrongful death settlement

A judge approved the $8.5 million wrong death settlement on Tuesday.
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 4:24 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 11:09 PM EDT

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - The family of Irvo Otieno, the man who died while handcuffed and pinned to the floor at Central State Hospital in Dinwiddie, has reached a settlement with the Commonwealth, Henrico County and the Henrico sheriff.

A judge approved the $8.5 million wrong death settlement on Tuesday.

Full coverage of the Irvo Otieno case >

The settlement agreement says the state, county and the sheriff have not admitted any liability and deny that their actions caused Otieno’s death, but have agreed to collectively pay settlement money to Otieno’s family.

Otieno’s family said he had a history of mental health problems and was struggling to breathe while being held down in March.

“This was a mental health crisis,” Attorney Ben Crump said after he and the family watched surveillance video of Otieno detained by Henrico deputies. “He wasn’t committing a crime.”

On Wednesday, Crump and co-counsel Mark Krudys issued the following statement:

“The family of Irvo Otieno and the County of Henrico, its Sheriff, and the Commonwealth of Virginia have reached a confidential settlement regarding the death of Irvo Otieno. The family is pleased that they were able to find a resolution outside of court in a manner that honors Irvo’s life.”

Back in March, Otieno’s mother, Caroline Ouko, said her son was tortured.

“My son was treated like a dog, worse than a dog. I saw it with my own eyes,” she said about the video.

Otieno’s death was ruled a homicide by asphyxiation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.