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: $________ - Wayne County to Pay for Inmate's Death

Wayne County

Facts: The death of an inmate at the _____ County jail resulted in a wrongful death claim against _____ County. Although the County denied liability, it agreed to a settlement of $________.

Plaintiff’s decedent, Jose _____, was a 25 year old inmate at the _____ County jail. During his stay, decedent had several altercations with other inmates. During an altercation which occurred approximately 6 weeks after decedent began his confinement at the jail, decedent suffered head injuries, which included an orbital eye injury. Deputies took him to an emergency room where he was treated and released. Decedent was then returned to a more restrictive cell. He was to be monitored by a nurse for his injuries and seen by a physician two days later. However, decedent was found hanging in his cell 14 hours later. EMS was called, but decedent could not be resuscitated.

Plaintiff alleged that 19 minutes passed between the discovery of decedent and the ___ call. In the meantime, there was no oxygen or ____ bags on the floor where decedent was jailed and no alarm was sounded for a suicide. Reportedly, an in-house nurse arrived to provide medical assistance, but did not have the proper equipment because she had not been informed about the nature of the emergency. Plaintiff alleged that deputies failed to monitor decedent and were grossly negligent in handling the emergency situation once they discovered decedent hanging in his cell. Plaintiff argued that the deputies’ response was unprofessional and that decedent may have lived had the deputies’ response been appropriate and timely. Furthermore, plaintiff maintained that the deputies were aware that decedent had a prior history of depression, which should have prompted even closer monitoring.

Defendant contended that adequate monitoring and cell checks were done. Defendant noted that decedent had been served dinner 40 minutes earlier and appeared to be fine. Defendant argued that decedent took his own life and nothing they did or failed to do would have changed the outcome. Finally, defendant argued that no one knew how long decedent had been hanging and there was no opportunity to revive decedent by the time his body was discovered.

Alleged Injury: Failure to properly monitor inmate resulting in death by hanging.

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