Inmates Family Sues for Wrongful Death ~ OPOLAW Injury Blog

Friday, August 19, 2011

Inmates Family Sues for Wrongful Death

The family of 54-year old, Douglas P. Poole, who died at the Virginia Beach jail, has filed a wrongful death suit against the sheriff and the jail medical staff. Poole entered jail Oct. 29, 2010 to serve a 10-day sentence for driving with a suspended driver’s license, five days later he was rushed to the hospital where he died. When arriving to the jail, Poole told a nurse that he suffered from diabetes and hypertension and that he required certain medications, according to the suit. It says he didn’t receive any meds for four days, and he was given insulin but nothing to control his hypertension. When he arrived in the jail, he told a nurse that he suffered from diabetes and hypertension and that he required certain medications, according to the suit. It says he didn't receive any meds for four days, and he was given insulin but nothing to control his hypertension. The afternoon of Nov. 3, Poole reported to jail staff that he was had severe pain in an eye. He was unsteady on his feet and sweating. He then collapsed and struck his head on a table, the suit says. He was taken to the infirmary, where the medical staff inferred "that he was malingering," the lawsuit states. When he was taken back to his cell, a deputy, a doctor and nurses told other inmates that Poole was "faking blindness," it says. Poole later reported that he felt nauseated and he again fainted and remained unconscious for 15 minutes. When he tried to rise, he struck his head on a toilet and lost consciousness again, the suit says. "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. At the infirmary, Poole's blood pressure was recorded as 197 over 90, which is high. Jail staff called 911, and Poole was taken to the nearby emergency room in handcuffs. He was transferred to Virginia Beach General Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage. He was declared brain-dead Nov. 4 and pronounced dead Nov. 7, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit, which seeks $5 million, alleges "deliberate indifference" to Poole's condition by the medical and jail staff. His family is suing in federal court under the Eighth and 14th amendments, which prohibit cruel and unusual punishment and deprivation of life and liberty, respectively.

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