It is traumatizing for any mother to see the death of their child. It is unnatural for a parent to outlive their own son or daughter. That is exactly what happened to a Pennsylvania woman when her teenage daughter died in a Pennsylvania County correctional facility, due to complications from heroin withdrawal. The mother of the inmate is now suing the county, correctional staff and medical examiners for her daughter's unexpected death.
Soon after the young woman was admitted to the jail, she began to suffer horrible side-effects related to heroin withdrawal. It is on record that the jail knew of her addiction and the resulting detox that would follow incarceration.
After the jail did not provide treatment for her withdrawal symptoms, the woman collapsed, lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest. Sadly, she passed away five days later in a nearby intensive care unit.
The mother has since filed a personal injury lawsuit alleging that, in the days that followed her daughter's death, the correctional and medical staff engaged in efforts to conceal and cover up the wrong doing by the accused party(s).
Her death was ruled accidental, following an investigation by Pennsylvania State Police. This was in addition to what the mother alleges was negligent behavior by the named parties. Notwithstanding, the lawsuit contends that the inmate's constitutionnel rights were violated. The lawsuit is seeking damages for her child's unexpected death and suffering, plus the associated costs of seeking trial.
It is such a terrible story, and yet, it is one that needs to be told. People suffer due to the mistakes of others, and it can lead to a premature death. It is brave of this mother to come forward and name who she believes to be responsible for her daughter's wrongful death. These types of cases can set precedent in these areas of law that can have resounding positive impacts for those in future similar situations.
Source: FOX 43, "Mother sues Lebanon county in heroin withdrawal death of her daughter," Howard Sheppard, July 11, 2016