Inmate Daniel Rodriguez (Full Name: Daniel Joseph Rodriguez), 42, Died Following Medical Emergency At Texas Department of Civil Justice Bill Clements Unit In Amarillo
POTTER COUNTY, TEXAS (December 4, 2023) - A 42-year-old inmate identified as Daniel Rodriguez has tragically died while in custody at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Amarillo.
Potter County officials are saying that the incident took place on November 29. Correctional officers noticed that Daniel Rodriguez was suffering from some type of medical emergency.
Jail medical staff began life-saving measures in order to help the victim. Sadly, Daniel Rodriguez was later pronounced dead by medical staff.
His medical cause of death was listed as cardiac arrest. A full investigation into the in-custody death remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Amarillo Inmate Deaths
Texas has one of the highest instances of in-custody deaths in the United States. Many of these deaths involve cardiac events. According to the Journal of American Cardiology, “Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death among the 2.2 million individuals incarcerated in correctional facilities. Those recently released from correctional facilities have a higher risk of being hospitalized and dying of CVD compared with the general population, even after accounting for differences in racial identity and socioeconomic status.” There are a number of signs that jail officials should look for which could indicate a heart attack.
- Chest pain and discomfort
- Upper body discomfort
- Cold sweats
- Nausea or vomiting
- Extreme fatigue
In 1976, the Supreme Court held in Estella v. Gamble that it was cruel and unusual punishment for jails not to provide inmates with healthcare. The ruling established health care for incarcerated people as a constitutional right. Other court rulings have held that jails must provide “adequate [health] services: services at a level reasonably commensurate with modern medical science and of a quality acceptable within prudent professional standards.” There are many steps that jails should take to help inmates with heart conditions.
- All inmates should get thorough medical screenings.
- All inmates should have regular access to healthcare professionals.
- Inmates with heart conditions may need certain medications.
- All inmates should have access to good nutrition and exercise opportunities.
When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. Deliberate indifference could come in many different forms. In many situations, it simply involves jail officials that fail to get inmates to the hospital in a timely manner. The family of any person that died in custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating Amarillo Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Daniel Rodriguez. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. It is our sincere hope that measures are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about an in-custody death at a Potter County jail? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are upholding constitutional standards. 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.