Inmate Brett Rhodes Died Following Medical Emergency At A Galveston Jail
GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS (December 7, 2023) - A 57-year-old inmate identified as Brett Rhodes has tragically died after a medical emergency at a Galveston jail.
Galveston County officials are saying that the incident began on November 25. Brett Rhodes was in some type of medical distress before being admitted to a hospital.
Sadly, his condition continued to decline while he was at the hospital. Brett Rhodes was pronounce dead on November 30 by medical staff.
His medical cause of death was listed as “Brain Death secondary to Severe Cerebral Edema with Transtentorial Herniation.” A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Galveston Jail Deaths
Traumatic brain injuries are increasingly common in jails across the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “More than two million people currently reside in U.S. prisons and jails. According to jail and prison studies, 25-87% of inmates report having experienced a head injury or TBI 2-4 as compared to 8.5% in a general population reporting a history of TBI.” A head injury can lead to cerebral edema. Or a cerebral edema may be due to a number of other issues including:
- Metabolic derangement
- Acute hypertension
It is important that jails understand the health profile of every inmate that they care for. When an inmate has a serious medical issue, they may need more extensive care. If a jail fails to treat the serious medical needs of any inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any in-custody death.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- The inmate’s health profile should be understood.
- The actions of jail staff leading up to a death should be known.
- An independent autopsy may need to be performed.
It can be hard to know what to do when someone that you love has died in jail. To make matters worse, it is common for jails to not be transparent about what happened. This is one of the reasons it is so important to seek legal counsel early on. An attorney can examine the facts of any in-custody death and determine if jail officials acted improperly. In many situations, in-custody deaths involve some amount of medical neglect.
Investigating Galveston Jail Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Brett Rhodes. What happened is deeply unfortunate and is becoming far too common across Galveston County jails. State officials need to do their part and implement greater safety protocols so that other tragedies can be averted.
Do you need more information about a Galveston County jail death? Our team of civil rights advocates are here for you. We’ve spent decades fighting on behalf of people who have been abused, mistreated and neglected by law enforcement. We remain committed to helping inmates understand their rights and holding jails accountable. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.