Monday, December 17, 2012

Mother Denied Relief for Son's Death in Jail

Coffey v. McKinley County, 2012 WL 6014600 (12/4/12) (N.M.) (unpub'd) - The plaintiff gets no relief where she alleges the McKinley County jail did not give her son medication for his congestive heart failure for 4 months and he died. At some point her son was too ill to get up from bed for 4 or 5 days. This prompted a riot by fellow inmates demanding that the jail help him. Guards had noticed he was very ill, but did nothing until one guard did take him to a medical unit, leading to a trip to the hospital where he died. The inmate's mother couldn't get relief from the guards or nurse because she did not know who they were. She could not get relief from McKinley County because she did not show its failure to adopt a policy of medically evaluating prisoners within 14 days of their arrival was the cause of her son's death. It was not highly predictable that the lack of such a policy would lead to constitutional deprivations.