Inmate Leon Johnican Jr Died Following Medical emergency At Galveston Jail
GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS (December 26, 2023) - An inmate identified as Leon Johnican Jr has tragically died after being admitted to the hospital while staying at a Galveston jail.
Galveston County officials are saying that the incident began on November 28. Leon Johnican Jr was admitted to the hospital due to some type of medical condition.
He stayed at the hospital for around 1 week where he continued to receive treatment. Sadly, Leon Johnican Jr’s condition continued to decline and he was pronounced dead on 11:25 a.m. on December 5.
A full investigation remains ongoing at this time. His medical cause of death was listed as “Sepsis related to Intraperitoneal Abcess.”
Liability For Galveston Inmate Deaths
Inmates are at much greater risk of death or serious injury from many medical issues including sepsis. According to the Journal of Correctional Health Care, “The study cohort included 8,568 cases of sepsis, of which 8,448 were noninmates and 120 were inmates. Overall mortality was 15.7%; for noninmates, the rate was 15.3%, and for inmates, 42.5%. The risk of death among inmates was 2.8 times that of noninmates.” There are a number of factors that could increase the likelihood of an inmate dying from sepsis.
- Jails may fail to provide inmates with timely medical care.
- Medical facilities within jails may have poor hygiene practices and insufficient infection control.
- Sepsis deaths are more likely to occur at jails where correctional officers are poorly trained.
When the state assumes control over a person through incarceration, certain constitutional standards will apply. Jails must provide inmates with adequate care for their health conditions. Not every failure to deliver care will amount to a violation of the constitution. However, if jail officials are deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are a number of symptoms commonly associated with septic shock which jail officials should look out for.
- Rapid breathing
- Fatigue or weakness
- Shortness of breath
Jails are often quick to label inmate deaths as “natural,” but this designation can often be highly misleading. Many supposedly natural inmate deaths involve inmates who are young or otherwise healthy. They may also involve instances of inadequate healthcare by jail medical staff. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating Galveston Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Leon Johnican Jr. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. The number of in-custody deaths in Galveston County remains deeply concerning.
Have you or someone that you care about been harmed while staying at a Galveston County jail? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are held accountable for their unconstitutional actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.