Inmate Juan Lopez (Full Name: Juan Soto Lopez) Died Following Medical Emergency At Texas Department of Criminal Justice Jester III In Richmond
FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS (January 15, 2024) - A 60-year-old man identified as Juan Lopez has tragically died following some type of medical emergency while staying at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Jester III.
TDCJ officials are saying that the incident began on November 30. Juan Lopez was admitted to the hospital due to his medical condition.
He was taken to the emergency room in order to receive treatment. But his condition continued to decline. Juan Lopez was pronounced dead by medical staff later in the day.
His medical cause of death was listed as cardiac arrest. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For TDCJ Jester III Inmate Deaths
Heart related illnesses remain one of the leading causes of inmate death in the United States. According to the Journal of American College of 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 can indicate an inmate is going through cardiac arrest.
- An inmate may experience chest pain.
- An inmate’s breathing may become irregular.
- An inmate may experience a loss of pulse.
- An inmate may become unresponsive.
Every jail has a legal obligation to provide all inmates with reasonably adequate healthcare. This includes care for pre-existing medical conditions. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are many steps that jails should take to protect inmates from heart attacks.
- Jail staff should be trained to recognize the signs an inmate is in medical distress.
- All inmates should get regular health screenings and medical checkups.
- Inmates should receive all of the medication that they need.
The vast majority of inmate deaths are preventable. They tend to be much more likely at jails that fail to follow medical protocols. Many jail staff operate under the assumptions that inmates are “faking” their illness. It is important that inmates and their families understand that they do have rights protected by the constitution. The family of any person that died in a jail may have legal recourse through a civil claim.
Investigating TDCJ Jester III Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Juan Lopez. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies. Many questions about what happned remain unanswered.
Do you need more information about a TDCJ inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that inmates get the support that they deserve and that jails are held to account for their neglect. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of assistance we may be able to help. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.