The city of Sunnyside is one of five defendants listed in a complaint for damages stemming from the death of Kimberly Broderson on Feb. 10, 2004.
Sunnyside City Attorney Mark Kunkler confirmed that Broderson died while in custody in the city's jail.
"She was an inmate who passed away and it appears it was a situation where there were simply natural causes at play and not a whole lot that anybody could do," said Kunkler.
The suit also names Sunnyside Community Hospital as a defendant and was filed last Thursday, Jan. 18, in Spokane County Superior Court on behalf of six members from Broderson's family.
Attorney Mariano Morales Jr. of Yakima is handling the case for the Broderson family. Morales Jr. is out of town this week and unavailable for comment.
The suit contends that Broderson sustained serious injuries while at the Sunnyside jail. It argues that her injury and death were due to negligence by the city, the hospital, Benton County, American Behavioural Health Service Recovery House and Sundown M. Ranch.
Sunnyside Community Hospital officials declined to comment on the case.
No dollar figure is cited in the claim, which Kunkler says is not unusual.
The claim asserts that Broderson "sustained personal injuries and damages which include, but are not limited to, health care expenses, pain and suffering and death".
Kunkler said Sunnyside just received the suit, adding, "We forwarded it onto the city's insurer for analysis and defense."