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Prison nurse in Ohio facing wrongful death charges

The death of a loved one, whether at an expected time or not, is always a tragic event. However, it may be arguably more tragic when this death occurs as a result of someone else’s negligence or lack of care. In those types of cases, the family of the loved one may be able to receive compensation by suing the negligent party for wrongful death.

A prison nurse in Ohio has found herself in this very position after an inmate who was put in her care died from an alcohol-withdrawal seizure. The inmate had been put into a concrete cell and during his seizure fell to the ground and hit his head on a concrete bunk. He was pronounced brain dead and removed from life support five days later. The family is seeking no less than $375,000 in compensation.

The man was arrested for drinking alcohol which was a violation of his probation. At the time of his arrest, his blood alcohol level was .35 percent. The man was taken to a nurse in the jail because he and his probation officers had warned jail employees that the man is known to have seizures once he stops drinking.

The nurse first determined that the man should be admitted to the hospital but instead, she later approved his admission to the prison. She also ordered that he be administered medication upon signs of withdrawal. Approximately 12 hours later, the inmate suffered from the seizure that led to his impending and very unfortunate death.

The family sued numerous parties, including the nurse. However, all except the nurse were determined immune due to their status as government employees. The nurse was found to have acted in a reckless manner and with deliberate indifference.

When an individual becomes the victim of someone else’s negligent behavior that later leads to death, his or her family may be entitled to compensation for the financial hardships that arise as a result of the wrongful death. No amount of money will bring back a lost loved one. However, no family experiencing such a loss should be left without compensation to help them through their unexpected hardship.

Source:, “Court: Ohio Prison Nurse Can Be Sued in Death,” Amanda Lee Myers, Sept. 11, 2012