The Ohio Case
The family of a jail inmate who died while incarcerated in an Ohio jail while he was withdrawing from heroin filed a wrongful death medical malpractice case against the private operator of the jail and its physician assigned to the jail, alleging that the doctor’s medical negligence and the company’s negligent supervision, negligent training, and gross negligence were the cause of the inmate’s death.
The Ohio lawsuit alleges that the 26-year-old inmate was booked into the correctional facility on December 20, 2014 at which time he advised the correctional staff that he was a heroin addict and that he had used heroin within the past 24 hours. The family alleges that the man began experiencing withdrawal symptoms the same day he was incarcerated, which included weakness, unsteady gait, vomiting, and diarrhea. Over the course of the next several days, his withdrawal symptoms worsened and he was finally brought to the hospital on December 23, 2014, where he died from complications of heroin withdrawal, according to the family’s wrongful death lawsuit.
The family acknowledges that the jail initiated its opiate withdrawal protocol with regard to their relative, but they allege in their medical malpractice lawsuit that the defendants failed to provide reasonable and ordinary medical care, skill, diligence, and treatment of the man. They allege that the defendants knew or should have known that on December 22, 2014 at the 11 p.m. check-up that his withdrawal symptoms were progressing, not improving, that any nausea medication he was given was ineffective given he was unable to keep any fluids in his system, and that more aggressive medical care and treatment was needed.
The Ohio jail medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit seeks $7.5 million in compensatory damages and an additional $5 million in punitive damages for the man’s estate and his three young children, including one born a couple of months after his death.
The California Case
The family of a jail inmate who died after being incarcerated in a California jail filed a wrongful death medical malpractice case alleging that the jail staff ignored the inmate’s obvious signs of medical distress and failed to have adequate policies to ensure that preventable deaths do not occur.
The 47-year-old inmate was arrested and was brought to the California jail on December 4, 2015 after she was found walking in and out of traffic on a public road. At the time of her arrest, the woman was delusional, she had dilated pupils, her heart rate was irregular and rapid, she was pale and sweaty, and she had thick saliva around her lips, according to the family’s medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit.
Despite the woman’s condition, the jail staff placed her in restraints upon her arrival and she was housed in a special safety cell, where she repeatedly cried out for help but no help was provided. The woman was not provided any food and was given only one cup of water during a twenty-eight-hour period, after which she was found nearly unconscious and covered in her own feces. In was nearly an hour before she was transported to the hospital, where she was found to be severely dehydrated and in kidney failure. The woman died in the hospital two weeks later, without regaining consciousness.
The family’s jail malpractice lawsuit alleges wrongful death, battery, negligence, violations of the woman’s civil rights, and deliberate indifference to a serious medical need.
If you or a loved one may have a claim involving deliberate indifference to a serious medical need involving a present or former inmate, you should promptly find an inmate medical malpractice lawyer who may investigate your deliberate indifference claim for you and represent you in an inmate medical malpractice lawsuit, if appropriate.
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