Did Your Family Member Die in Jail? Were Their Rights Violated?

You Can Sue Detention Centers and the Government.

If your family member died in jail and you suspect foul play, you may have a claim against the prison and the government for negligence, wrongful death, and civil rights violations.

Jails should be safe, instead, some of them are among the most violent and dangerous places in America.

Whether your loved one died on account of negligence, guard misconduct, or because the authorities failed to protect them from harm, you can't bring your loved one back, but you can find the culprits and hold them accountable.

A badge, a prison uniform, some degree of power granted by the government; none of those things allow any officer or prison staff to put a jail inmate in danger.

Wrongful death in county jail, federal prison, and other detainment centers is often caused by prison guard negligence. Our civil rights and inmate jail death attorneys have the experience and connections to find out what happened, hold the culprits accountable, and maximize compensation for you and your grieving family. 

Our top-tier attorneys focus on inmates’ rights and wrongful death in prison in Florida, California, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, New York, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Michigan, and beyond. They can help you bring your claim against the detention center and the individuals who caused your loved one's death, whether it was done intentionally or as a result of negligence.  

Our team of experienced investigators and litigators have secured large settlements against state, county, and city jails on behalf of the families of deceased inmates. Common causes of jail inmate death in the cases we handle include:

  • Failure to protect suicide-risk inmates 
  • Failure to provide required mental health care
  • Excessive force
  • Illegal use of chokeholds and tasers
  • Jail medical neglect
  • Failure to administer required medication
  • Unjustified delays in providing medical attention during an emergency
  • Failure to protect inmates from violent attacks by fellow inmates
  • Death from drug withdrawal

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Allowing an Inmate to Be Killed or Die Due to Neglect Is Illegal. You Can Seek Justice and Rightful Compensation

Prison inmates are dying from drug withdrawal in America every day. The press has called this ‘death by detox.’ Others die because guards fail to segregate violent inmates, who may end up committing murder.

Sometimes an inmate's severe medical condition spirals out of control, and jail authorities take too long to provide critical care; often, when doctors and treatments arrive, it is already too late.

Under US laws, all of the situations described above are illegal. US detainees, whether they are being held in immigration detention, a juvenile correctional, or a maximum security prison, have rights that must be respected. Those rights include:

  • The right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, under the Eighth Amendment 
  • The right to be free from sexual harassment or sex crimes perpetrated by either fellow inmates or prison staff
  • The right to voice their complaints about prison conditions 
  • The right to accessible accommodations and special protection in the case of disabled inmates
  • The right to adequate medical and mental health care
  • The right to freedom of speech and religion under the First Amendment
  • The right to be free from any kind of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, etc. 

If you believe prison guards and/or authorities violated some of your family member's rights, consult with one of our specialists about filing a lawsuit, exposing the culprits, and seeking compensation commensurable with your terrible loss. 

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Wrongful Death in Jail Cases Bring Both Large Payouts AND System Reform

When you lose a loved one, money is no consolation. However, increasingly larger settlements in inmate jail death cases and media attention often deter unscrupulous prison authorities and negligent guards from committing new crimes.

Some cases can be precedent-setting.

When R & B singer Sean Levert was taken into Cuyahoga County jail, on charges of a non-violent crime, he communicated that he was on Xanax. As jail staff failed to provide his prescription, Levert went into withdrawal, was placed in a restraint chair, and died an agonizing death.

Two years later, a $4 million settlement was reached with his family, the largest to date in an inmate death case in Ohio. Following the incident, the jail switched medical service providers and the authorities began to pay more attention to mental health services. 

In November 2017, a $2.65 million settlement was reached in the case of Bradley Steven Thomas, a mentally ill patient who died of dehydration after being neglected for weeks and receiving no mental health care whatsoever. The incident took place while Thomas was being held at Lincoln County jail.

In November 2017, the family of Zackary Moffitt received a $3.5 million settlement after he died of a heart attack at Summit County jail. Moffitt was experiencing severe alcohol detoxing symptoms, including hallucinations and vomiting, which were ignored by the jail's authorities.  

A little earlier, in October of the same year, the daughters of a deceased schizophrenic inmate received a $1.7 million settlement in Los Angeles. The man, Eric Loberg, committed suicide after authorities of the Twin Towers Correctional Facility ignored his refusal to take medication and kept him in a unit that lacked the necessary security. 

Also in October 2017, the family of a mentally ill inmate received $4.6 million. The victim, Michael Marshall, was killed by rogue deputies in Denver’s downtown jail. The settlement included a commitment to policy changes relating to how Denver treats mentally ill detainees.

Facilities like the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, VA, are currently under scrutiny, as inmates keep dying there inexplicably, or rather, in circumstances that can only be explained by a broken system and hordes of negligent guards.

If your loved one has been a victim, suing jails, prisons, sheriff's departments, cities, or states is a moral obligation. By seeking justice, you may be saving the lives of potential victims. If you don't speak out, there will be no reform, there will be no justice.

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Don't Wait. Your Right to Sue Will Expire Quickly

There is a statute of limitations to file a lawsuit over jail inmate death.

No matter how horrendous the murder or the neglect, your right to sue will expire, generally in a couple of years, sometimes less, sometimes a bit more. Our seasoned wrongful death and civil rights attorneys can tell you exactly how much time you have, as there are different factors at play.

But even if you have two or three years, jails are secluded spots controlled by the defendants. It is unlikely that culprits will not try to tamper with evidence or dissuade witnesses. The longer you wait, the more time they have to prepare a favorable, and false, scenario for their defense.

Besides, in some cases, the start date for the statute of limitations may fall before the death took place, so, the sooner you consult with one of our attorneys, the more chances you will have of maximizing compensation and influencing policy.

Our team is made up of former prosecutors, well-known civil rights advocates, and award-winning trial lawyers. They have decades of fighting for civil rights and against a broken prison system under their belt. At JailDeathandInjuryLaw we have developed a set of proven strategies to minimize law enforcement cover-ups and maximize compensation for victims' families.

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