DALLAS-A federal court jury ordered Dallas County on Tuesday August 27, 2008 to pay $900,000 to a former Dallas County jail inmate for denying him proper medical care while he was in custody.
The jury found that Stanley Shepherd’s constitutional rights were violated when he was denied basic medical care while in the Lew Sterrett Justice Center on burglary and drug charges in late 2003.
This verdict is significant for two reasons, first, it is the largest jury verdict over a jail-neglect suit against Dallas County. And second, the verdict is an indictment of the county’s entire jail-health system instead of one or several isolated cases. In legal terms, that means the jail’s “general conditions of confinement” led to the damage suffered.
Legal Analysis: Even inmates who are criminal they are still entitled to basic medical needs and timely medical treatment if they get ill.
What does it say about our society when we forget about folks and throw away the key when they are in jail?