On May 18, 2013, a 41-year-old father of four with no criminal history was arrested in Florida for alleged DUI. Several hours later, he was found dead in his jail cell, allegedly due to the medical negligence of the jail personnel and an on-call doctor who failed to provide the man with necessary medical care to address his serious medical condition, according to the family’s recently filed wrongful death/medical malpractice case.
According to the family’s lawsuit, the man was stopped by a deputy during the early evening because the man was driving his vehicle off the road. The deputy noticed that the man’s skin was yellow and questioned the man about his medical condition. The man told the deputy that he did not feel well and was under the care of a doctor but instead of bringing the man to the hospital, the deputy brought the man to the county jail.
A nurse at the jail documented that the man had jaundice from head to toe. The man was placed in a wheelchair and brought to the jail’s medical unit. The man was to be released on his on recognizance but had to remain in the jail for at least eight hours, under Florida law.
Just short of five hours after he was stopped by the deputy, the man was placed in a jail cell and had to be lifted into his bunk by the jail personnel because he was too weak to make the transfer himself. The jail personnel telephoned the on-call doctor employed by the agency that had the contract with the Sheriff’s Office to provide medical care to jail inmates, and the doctor ordered medical tests and medication for the man and requested that the jail call him back in one hour about the man’s condition. However, the jail did not contact the doctor again until several hours later, after the man had already died.
About one and a half hours after the man was placed in a jail cell, the jail personnel, who had a video (but not audio) feed from the man’s cell, noticed that the man had not moved in awhile. When they entered the man’s cell they realized that he was not breathing but they did not perform CPR or check for a pulse, according to the lawsuit filed against the jail and others. The man evidently died from heart and liver problems and was found to have alcohol in his system.
The man is survived by his wife, two daughters who were 4 and 7 at the time of his death, and two stepchildren.
If you or a loved one were injured due to medical neglect or the lack of appropriate medical care while incarcerated in a prison, jail, or other correctional facility in the United States, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a local medical malpractice lawyer in your state who handles prisoner/inmate medical malpractice claims and may investigate your claim and represent you, if appropriate.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.