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$1.5 Million Settlement Reached for Inmate's Death in 2006

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A 57-year-old Vietnam Vet sand shipyard worker living in Portsmouth, Virginia (VA) was in the throws of a bipolar episode in June 2006. During that time, he was put in the Portsmouth City Jail due to the lack of bedding at a mental facility. Prior to his stay at the jail, his wife had reported that he was a danger to himself. Unfortunately, while he was in the jail he was neglected and later discovered dead in his cell, according to The Virginian Pilot. An autopsy revealed that he died from dehydration and pneumonia.

It is far too common that local jails neglect their inmates. In this case, the individual in question was not even an inmate. The victim was merely being housed in the jail because of inadequate space at a mental facility. It is extremely upsetting to learn that this man lay in his cell for six days before someone discovered him. This was a collective failure in the Portsmouth Sheriff’s office and Prison Health Services.

I wish I could say that this is the first time I have heard of this type of treatment. In my line of work, I receive phone calls every day from individuals who have been neglected or mistreated by doctors and medical health professionals. However, this case really gets my blood boiling, especially during the holiday season. This man left behind a wife and four adult children.

Bipolar disorder is extremely common. When someone is unmedicated, they can become a different person. Usually, with proper medication they can go back to their normal personalities and lead productive lives. Obviously, this man was capable of doing so as indicated by his job as a shipyard worker and his history as a Vietnam Vet.

My condolences go out to this family. While no amount of money will ever truly compensate them for their loss, I hope that it will help each of them continue in their life and possibly not have to worry about some of the everyday stresses. If you or anyone you know has been injured in a jail due to malpractice from the jail medical facility, please give our lawyers a call.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, andNortheast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.