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Texas parents file wrongful death suit after son's jail death

The parents of a man who died in a Texas jail have filed a wrongful death suit against a county sheriff and the medical staff who treated him. A doctor reportedly recommended that the inmate be transferred out of the jail and into a mental facility, but the man's parents claim that officials kept him at the jail. The damages sought in this wrongful death claim have not been divulged.

Officials reportedly discovered the man lying unconscious in his cell. It is believed that he died after suffering from both respiratory and cardiac arrest. Court records show that the man was suffering from numerous mental conditions including schizophrenia, delusions and bipolar disorder. The lawsuit claims that the jail's medical personnel knew about his mental conditions, but they failed to heed the doctor's recommendation for a transfer.

Instead, his parents believe officials moved him into the infirmary at the jail to undergo additional evaluations rather than taking him for immediate medical care at a hospital, an action they believe represented intentional negligence. Medical officials eventually transported the man to the hospital, but he later passed away. The sheriff named as a defendant in this lawsuit is accused of negligence because he also reportedly knew that the man was suffering from mental health issues, yet failed to ensure he received the care he needed.

When a loved one dies at the hands of another, Texas parents often have the right to seek legal action, especially if negligence is involved. Filing a wrongful death claim could result in compensation being awarded to the man's parents. While it won't change the circumstances or outcome of this tragedy, it could help them with the financial burden associated with the death, and send a strong message that such actions could result in serious legal consequences.

Source: kristv.com, "County, Sheriff Named In Wrongful Death Suit," Mike Manzoni, Feb. 6, 2013

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