The family of a man who died at a San Francisco jail has filed a $10 million federal civil rights lawsuit against the city, saying sheriff’s officials ignored prisoners’ pleas that he needed medical help in the hours before he died.
The 48 year old man, died in his cell, a day after he was booked on suspicion of possession of drugs for sale following his arrest.
Five inmates have alleged that jail staffers did not respond to prisoners’ pleas for the man to be treated by a doctor after he complained of feeling ill.
The man’s death was listed as accidental, the result of a heart attack caused by acute drug intoxication, the medical examiner’s office said.
The wrongful-death suit filed on behalf of man’s family Friday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco claims that jail staffers failed to recognize that the man was undergoing opiate withdrawal. He told staffers and other inmates that he “felt like he was dying,” the suit said.
When the inmate collapsed, a nurse asked a sheriff’s deputy to help administer CPR, the suit said. The deputy “callously laughed and walked away,” the suit said.
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