Family of Brownsville man who died while incarcerated file lawsuit
Tue, 15 Sep 2015 04:18:54 GMT —
The family of a Brownsville man who died while in custody at the Carrizales-Rucker Detention Center recently filed a lawsuit against Cameron County and some of its officials.
Fernando Longoria was incarcerated for about a week in January on a 10-day sentence for driving while intoxicated. About seven days into his sentence, jailers found Longoria dead in his cell.
He was there on a misdemeanor. He was serving a 10-day sentence on a DWI. He was seven days into his sentence when he passed away," said attorney Eddie Lucio.
Lucio said he is assisting Longoria TMs family in filing the lawsuit against Cameron County, Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio and employees of the detention center.
The family claims Longoria's death could have been prevented if he had received appropriate medical attention.
"The zoo has a full-time doctor for the animals, yet the people at Carrizales do not," Lucio said.
In a 23-page complaint, including county documents, Lucio said Longoria suffered a total of three seizures while in custody.
Longoria was isolated in a room, where his condition quickly worsened, according to county documents. He became delusional and refused to eat or accept any medical help for three days. Longoria was seen by a jail nurse, but was allegedly never taken to the hospital.
"He should have been taken to the hospital. At this point we don TMt know exactly what caused him to have these seizures, but what we do know is that the moment he had his first seizure, Lucio said. He should have been hospitalized immediately, and rather than hospitalize him, they punished him. They locked him away in a little room rather than just take him to the hospital immediately.
Action 4 News reached out to Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio to see what he had to say about the lawsuit, but he was unable to comment on the legal matter.
In 2014, 365 inmates complained about the medical services in Texas prison facilities, according to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
Attorney Lucio said he hopes the case will bring policy changes to the Cameron County Detention Center.
"We get numerous complaints about inmates and how they're treated in there; about the lack of medical care and the lack of medical attention that they TMre receiving while they TMre in there and were trying to change that. We're asking the county to change its medical care policies, Lucio said.