A University of California, San Diego student, who was arrested by the DEA then left in a holding cell for 5 days last year, has settled his personal injury lawsuit against the federal government for $4.1 million.
“This was a mistake of unbelievable and unimaginable proportions,” said attorney Julia Yoo.
On the morning of April 21, DEA agents raided the home of one of Daniel Chong’s friends, whom Chong hung out with the night before to get high. He decided to spent the night, but he said he had no idea that the house had more than a small amount of drugs inside, or that his friend was dealing MDMA and marijuana.
DEA agents found 18,000 ecstasy pills during the raid, as well as other drugs, including marijuana and prescription medications, and weapons. Chong was arrested and questioned by the DEA. When they concluded he was not part of the drug ring, agents had him fill out papers for his release.
Then they forgot about him.
“I just couldn’t believe that this was legal,” Chong said in an interview with the Associated Press last year, after he filed his personal injury lawsuit. “I’m thinking ‘no way.'”
Chong kicked and screamed as loud as he could. He resorted to drinking his own urine to survive, and even tried to activate the cell’s fire sprinkler to get water. He bit a piece of his jacket off and shoved it under the door, hoping someone would see him.
Around day five, as his breath got shorter and shorter, Chong continued to plead with agents, begging at least for a quick and dignified death.
That’s when the lights turned on and the agents opened the door with very confused looks on their faces,” Chong said. “They said, ‘Who are you? Where’d you come from?'”
“He’s the strongest person I have ever met,” Yoo said. “As a result of his case, it’s one of the primary reasons the DEA placed a nationwide policy that calls on each agent at satellite offices to check on the well-being of prisoners in their cells on a daily basis,” Yoo said.
Chong filed a personal injury lawsuit against the DEA on May 2nd, 2012, two weeks after his release, when he finally got out of the hospital. He originally sued for $20 million.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury Cases
In a split second, you may become the victim of a life altering accident, leaving you with mounting medical bills, unable to work and care for your family, and forcing to deal with the death of a loved one. If you are the victim of traumatic brain injury, paralysis, or other permanant injury you or a loved one may need lifelong medical care.
The Strom Law Firm handles all types of personal injury cases including:
- tractor trailer accidents,
- automobile accidents,
- burn injuries,
- brain injuries,
- motorcycle accidents
- construction type accidents,
- defective products arising from medical devices,
- toys and childrens’ products,
- medical malpractice claims,
- nursing home neglect and abuse,
- slip and fall,
- wrongful death, as well as
- injuries sustained while working on the job.
Although many of the people we represent in these cases are from right here in South Carolina, our lawyers routinely take clients from throughout the Southeastern U.S. and, in certain types of product liability or pharmaceutical cases, from across the country as well. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident, you could have a personal injury case.Contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. 803.252.4800