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Travis Terry is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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Mother files wrongful death lawsuit after son's Texas jail death

A Texas mother has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a jail administrator and supervisor. She claims they are responsible for the death of her son for having "paved the way for her son to commit suicide." When the sheriff arrived at her home, she assumed that her son had escaped from the jail he was in because he had been arrested a few months prior after crashing into a tire shop. However, the sheriff was at her home to notify her about her son's death. The wrongful death lawsuit does not have a reported amount of damages his mother is seeking.

The sheriff stated her son had been having disturbing delusions and begun beating his head against the wall. About a day later he passed away from the force of the trauma to his head. The mother claims the jailers failed to take care of her son. A few months prior to the lawsuit both defendants were indicted on criminal charges, specifically of "injury to a disabled person by omission." 

Her son reportedly suffered from schizophrenia and last year, he thought the owner of a tire shop was going to kill him so he drove his car into the shop. He was sent to jail for criminal charges of mischief. Several months later her son was reported to have received treatment for a cut to his head after he beat it against the wall. Once deputies put him back in his cell, he began banging his head against the wall again.

Mental health care in Texas jails appears to be limited, and the mother in this case hopes to prevent the same thing from happening to someone else's loved one. Her wrongful death suit has few details reported, but it will hopefully put the spotlight on disabled individuals in Texas jails. A successful result may also serve as a form of solace to the grieving mother.

Source: The Texas Tribune, "Llano County Jail Death Prompts Lawsuit," Maurice Chammah, Nov. 8, 2012

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