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Pennsylvania jail inmate dies; wrongful death suit filed

Inmates lose many rights, such as the right to vote and the right to certain freedoms, once incarcerated. Although convicted felons have made mistakes in their lives, they are still entitled to certain rights such as the right of access to healthcare. For one Pennsylvania inmate, this right was violated last week. This is according to a wrongful death suit filed by a family member after the unexpected death of a male inmate of the Allegheny County Jail.

The family claims that the man had a pre-existing medical condition that went untreated, which is what led to his death. The man who passed away suffered from chronic epileptic seizures and took anti-seizure medication about twice daily to help remedy his condition. During a previous stint in the jail, he had received the medication, but jail staff members did not consult his medical records and also did not prescribe the medication, according to the wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful death lawsuits aim at seeking reparations for an unexpected death where it is believed that a third party is responsible, or negligent, in the death of that person. It can cover pain and suffering, lost wages and medical or burial expenses just to name a few reasons to seek damages. After a family loses a member of their tight-knit unit, they may file a wrongful death suit in order to determine who or what caused the death of their family member.

Wrongful death lawsuits are regulated mostly by Pennsylvania state law. Each situation is different, but in all cases, a plaintiff must prove negligence in order to establish liability. This can happen only after a full investigation of the death and the circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one. Families struggling with the sudden death of a loved one should consider all options available to them.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Wrongful Death Suit filed in Allegheny County Jail inmate case," Molly Born, July 11, 2015

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