El Paso County settles $675,000 lawsuit for use of force by deputies

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - El Paso County wlll have to pay $675,000 for a moment captured on surveillance cameras inside the jail back in 2014.

The county just reached a settlement agreement with a former inmate after a use-of-force incident. The woman says deputies pulled her legs out from under her and shoved her to the floor.

The $675,000 settlement is costing taxpayers $250,000. The rest of the money will come from the county's insurance carrier. An attorney representing El Paso County says settling was simply a business decision to save litigation costs.

The use-of-force incident happened inside the jail in April of 2014. A then 21-year-old inmate, Phillipa McCully, was walked into an intake cell. Surveillance video shows just a few seconds later her feet were pulled out from under her.

"If she put a case on in front of the jury, she would be able to explain to the jury that the injury to her knee was substantial," said Lisa Kirkman, senior assistant county attorney.

McCully's attorneys say a painful five-day stay in jail followed the incident. A doctor later found she had a fractured knee, tore some ligaments and had severe bruising.

On Tuesday, the El Paso County commissioners acknowledged the settlement agreement, but the county never admitted any wrongdoing.

"This is not saying that our deputies used excessive force," Kirkman said. "So, they will be dismissed totally out of the lawsuit.”

The 2014 incident happened under then-Sheriff Terry Maketa. The complaint alleges he was "asleep at the wheel." Today, the sheriff's office says there has been a change in leadership and training when it comes to use of force.