August 18, 2011
Family members of a 54-year-old inmate who died while at the Virginia Beach jail have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the sheriff and the jail’s medical staff, alleging poor medical care.
The deceased checked into the jail on October 29, 2010, to serve a 10-day sentence for driving with a suspended driver’s license. Hampton Roads reports that the man told a nurse that he had diabetes and hypertension and thus needed to take medication. Though the man was given insulin, the lawsuit says he was not treated for his hypertension.
On November 3, 2010, the victim complained to jail staff of severe pain in an eye before collapsing and hitting his head on a table. He was taken to the jail’s infirmary and then back to his cell. The suit says staff believed the man was faking or exaggerating his symptoms.
Later that evening the man fainted in his cell, remaining unconscious for a reported 15 minutes.
“The inmates in his cell block began frantically banging on the window and the deputies only then removed him from the block,” the lawsuit says.
The man was taken to an emergency room in handcuffs and then transported to Virginia Beach General Hospital, where he died several days later of a brain hemorrhage.
The man’s sister, a Norfolk, Virginia resident, seeks $5 million.
Do you think that the Virginia Beach Jail’s medical staff could have done more to save this inmate’s life?