Inmate Nicole Duhon (Full Name: Nicole Phillips Duhon) Died In Custody At Galveston County Jail
GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS (November 10, 2023) - A 56-year-old woman identified as Nicole Duhon has tragically died following a medical emergency at a Galveston County jail.
Galveston County officials are saying that the incident began on November 4. Correctional officers noticed that Nicole Duhon was in some type of medical distress.
She was taken to the Carole Young Medical Facility in order to receive more extensive care. Despite life-saving measures, Nicole Duhon died on November 8.
Her cause of death listed in the custodial death report was septic shock. A full investigation into the death remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Galveston County Inmate Deaths
Inmate deaths due to medical neglect are a common occurrence across prisons and jails throughout the United States. Sepsis is a major cause of in-custody death. It occurs when chemicals released in the bloodstream lead to inflammation throughout the body. One study in the Journal of Correctional Health Care examined 8,568 cases of sepsis for both inmates and non-inmates. What the authors found is that inmates were nearly 3 times more likely to die from septic shock than people who were not incarcerated. There are many steps that jails should take in order to prevent inmates from dying due to septic shock.
- Inmates should get a thorough health screening when they are first admitted.
- Jails and hospital medical facilities should maintain strict hygiene and infection control protocols.
- Inmates who are going through septic shock should get timely medical care.
- Jails and hospital should develop guidelines for the timely administration of antibiotics in suspected sepsis cases.
Jails and private healthcare facilities can be held liable if an inmate in their care dies. Every jail has a legal obligation to provide inmates with adequate care for their health needs. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. Sepsis is treatable and requires timely medical intervention. But far too often this does not take place. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any in-custody death.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Medical records related to the death should be preserved.
- The medications that the inmate received prior to their death should be known.
- An independent autopsy may need to be performed.
Jail deaths are often highly preventable. They tend to occur when correctional officers fail to follow the medical advice of nurses and doctors. They may also take place because guards fail to perform needed welfare checks. One death at the Men’s Central Jail in LA took place while guards missed 3 welfare checks as they watched YouTube videos. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a constitutional claim.
Investigating Galveston County Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Nicole Duhon. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened for the sake of this person’s family. So many questions still remain unanswered.
Have you or someone that you care about been harmed by the medical neglect of jail officials? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. 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.