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Father Of Mentally Ill Inmate Sues Agencies For Wrongful Death

Posted in Our Blog on March 4, 2014

Relatives of an inmate who died while in the care of a Louisiana corrections facility is seeking financial compensation from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and emergency medical staff. The victim, age 43, died after being held in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for 13 days. He was originally arrested on allegations of disturbing the peace. The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the victim, a paranoid schizophrenic, should have been placed in a medical facility instead of in a jail.

The man’s father alleges that the victim became belligerent while in custody, so he was placed in restraints. The man was also reportedly beaten after he spit on several corrections employees. Reports show that a physician did not visit the man until he had been incarcerated for nearly a week. Restraints used during the altercation with officers reportedly caused lacerations in the man’s skin. Those cuts became infected because the man had been forced to sit in his own excrement; the infection from those wounds ultimately took the man’s life.

Prison officials say they are investigating the incident as a symptom of larger problems within the area’s correctional facilities. Defendants who need mental health treatment are often subject to negligence while they are incarcerated, especially since prison workers are not permitted to force inmates to take medication. The physician who examined the man prescribed the victim anti-psychotic medication, but the man reportedly refused to comply.

Mentally ill inmates should not be subject to the negligence of poorly informed prison staff. Relatives who have suffered the loss of a loved one in such a situation may benefit from speaking with a Louisiana personal injury attorney. These professionals may be able to help victims learn more about their legal rights and options.