Correctional Facilities Are Not Exempt From Wrongful Death and Negligence Lawsuits

Any person in the United States has the right to expect a reasonable level of care, including people who are in jail. While many people may believe government-related facilities automatically get a pass when their actions cause injuries or death, a recent lawsuit against the Tulsa County Jail illustrates how virtually anyone can be held accountable under civil law.

The May 31, 2013 lawsuit pertains to three inmates who died and one who nearly died due to inadequate care, according to The lawsuit cites the following:

  • In one case, a hospital cleared one woman for booking into jail after a cardiac work-up, notifying the jail of her prescriptions and a number of serious medical conditions. Her complaints of chest and stomach pain were ignored, leading to her death at the jail, which was falsely documented to indicate it occurred after ambulance pick-up.
  • Another woman also died from a heart attack, again with falsified records.
  • A man waited for medical treatment for four days after asking to see a doctor. During that time, his condition plummeted, and he eventually received a diagnosis by the jail doctor of kidney stones. He was not sent to the hospital until it was too late, and he died from bacterial contamination from a serious bowel ailment.
  • The final complaint involved a woman with known mental health conditions and diabetes and prescription requirements for these conditions. She received little or no medication while in jail, and her complaints were ignored. Even after diabetic seizures caused by failure to monitor blood sugar sent her to the hospital, the negligence continued. She went to the hospital two more times after suicide attempts.

The lawsuit names seven defendants, including the sheriff, correctional healthcare management companies, two doctors and a nurse. Of course, it is too soon to learn how it plays out in court, but it illustrates the importance of identifying all liable parties in cases involving personal injury and wrongful death. Any case of injury or death caused by negligence requires experienced personal injury attorneys who have the skills and resources needed to conduct thorough investigations that uncover all details of these complex legal cases. Contact us today!

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