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Long before a San Diego County jury in July awarded David Collins more than $12 million for brain damage he suffered in Sheriff’s Department custody, a mediator recommended that his civil lawsuit be settled for $3 million, his attorney said. The Board of Supervisors, acting in closed session on advice from county attorneys, rejected the mediator’s suggestion, according to Collins’ lawyer, Robert Vaage. Instead they approved a counter offer their lawyers said was more in line with Collins’ injuries: $500,000, Vaage said. The plaintiff’s attorney considered that a lowball offer and opted to take chances with a jury, which last month returned a verdict worth $12.6 million. Now supervisors are confronting their largest civil judgment in decades, potentially adding to the $167 million in jury awards, settlements and claims San Diego County has paid out over the last 30 years.

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