Law Offices in Houston and Bellaire
Call for a Free Initial Consultation
B. L. Jensen, L.P.B. L. Jensen, L.P.
Local: 832-460-3366
Toll Free: 877-297-7414

Se Habla EspaƱol Email Us

Wrongful death suit against jail sent to arbitration

A Texas woman who was arrested after a traffic stop in 2010 for misdemeanor warrants was found unresponsive in a Gregg County Jail separation cell three days later. A nearby hospital pronounced her dead shortly afterwards. Her family has filed a wrongful death suit against the jail, claiming that the woman was not given her prescribed medications that she needed to survive. The medications were allegedly in her purse in the jail property room when she died.

The plaintiffs claim that prior to her arrest, the woman had become addicted to painkillers from past injuries. She had been in a treatment program to control her addiction to these prescription drugs. She was receiving methadone treatments every day up until she was put in jail. Without methadone, she possibly would suffer from life-threatening withdrawal. The suit alleges she was denied her medicine even though she showed signs of withdrawal, such as seizures and hallucinations. Reports say that other Texas jails allow inmates to use the drugs she was not allowed to use.

The autopsy report says the woman's cause of death was ruled as a probable seizure from withdrawal from the two medications she was taking, but not allowed to take in jail. The woman also had double the lethal level of Atropine in her system. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards has since found the jail to be noncompliant and some jailers have been fired based on an investigation by a Gregg County sheriff.

The lawsuit claims compensatory damages, actual damages and attorney's fees. The suit was sent to arbitration, but will be going to trial in January. Wrongful death suits often claim compensation for financial injuries such as loss of support, medical expenses and services. Courts will consider the age, earning capacity and life expectancy of the deceased when determining monetary loss. Damages received can help families dealing with a loss of a loved one.

Source: The Daily Tribune, "Cowling wrongful death lawsuit goes to arbitration," Mac Overton, Sept. 19, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Get A Free Consultation

How Can We Help?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Brian Jensen

Representation in the Houston Area with 3 Convenient Locations:

Bellaire Office
Frost Bank Building, 6750 West Loop South, Suite 800
Bellaire, TX 77401

Toll Free: 877-297-7414
Phone: 832-460-3366
Fax: 713-665-6818
Bellaire Law Office Map

Houston Office
By Appointment Only
440 Louisiana Street
Suite 2080
Houston, TX 77002

Toll Free: 877-297-7414
Phone: 832-460-3366
Map & Directions

Houston Office
By Appointment Only
14439 Twisted Oak Lane
Houston, TX 77079

Toll Free: 877-297-7414
Phone: 832-460-3366
Map & Directions

  • Super Lawyers
  • Distinguished AV | Peer review rated | for ethical standards and legal ability | LexisNexis Martindale Hubbell
  • Texas board of legal specialization TBLS 1974
  • Board Certified | Texas board of legal specialization | Personal Injury Trial Law
  • Texas trial lawyers association