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Veterans Dies, Wrongful Death Suit Commences against Jail Housing Veteran

Veterans Dies, Wrongful Death Suit Commences against Jail Housing Veteran

Veterans Dies, Wrongful Death Suit Commences against Jail Housing Veteran


A forty-one year-old veteran died in a Virginia jail in September of 2010. The man was being treated by the Department of Veterans Affairs for anxiety and depression when he was arrested and jailed for disorderly conduct. The suit alleges the staff of that jail left the veteran naked in a cell for days and did not provide a bed or any garments for the man. The suit also claims the veteran did not have running water in the cell. The man refused to eat in those conditions and began to deteriorate as a result. He eventually died of acute kidney failure after he was brought to a Virginia hospital. In an effort to save the veteran, the hospital amputated his leg although this treatment was not enough to save his life. The lawsuit names the jail's doctor and two staff members as defendants and seeks more than $10 million in damages. According to one source, this veteran is the 80th person to die in the jail since 1994.

This story highlights many troubling aspects of our society. Clearly, we owe our veterans more than what this man was given. Even if he weren't a veteran, the jail is responsible for the man's overall wellbeing, and by failing to provide the most basic of necessities, i.e. running water or clothing, the jail could likely be negligent for this wrongful death. The claim appears to rely on the fact that the medical providers at the jail were not adequately treating this man with mental health issues, but the story should also be about the subpar conditions he was receiving in the jail.

Premise liability is an action to recover when patrons on the property of another are injured because of a careless or negligent condition which the owner knew or should have known about. Although the present situation is not necessarily your typical premise liability case, the jail still owed a duty to the veteran much like owners of businesses in our community owe us, the patrons, a duty.

Premises liability and safety of patrons of a business or public place plays an important role in our society. It is paramount to determine who bears the responsibility of an unsafe condition of a public place. The attorneys at Meyerkord and Meyerkord, LLC have experience with premises liability cases and can help you recover for injuries that you or a family member sustain while on a business owner's property that is open to the public. Please contact (314) 436-9958 or (800) 391-4318 for a no-obligation consultation regarding your potential case.


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