Susan Taylor, 58, Tragically Died Following Medical Emergency At Tyler Jail
TYLER, TEXAS (January 4, 2024) - A 58-year-old inmate identified as Susan Taylor has tragically died after a medical emergency in a Tyler jail.
Smith County officials are saying that the incident took place on Wednesday. The woman was in the custody of the Smith County Sheriff's Office. Jail staff noticed that Susan Taylor lost consciousness in the day room of the jail.
Medical personnel were called to the scene and began life-saving efforts. This included the use of CPR as well as an automated external defibrillator.
These efforts were taken over by EMS who took Susan Taylor to the emergency room. Sadly, she could not be saved and was later pronounced dead.
A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Tyler Inmate Deaths
Jail poses a number of unique health challenges for inmates even in the best of circumstances. For example, many inmates have pre-existing medical conditions or struggle with substance abuse. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, “It is estimated that greater than 65% of individuals who are incarcerated meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)-IV criteria for alcohol or other drug dependence or abuse. Unfortunately, only 11% of individuals who have a substance use disorder receive drug treatment while incarcerated.” There are a number of reasons that an inmate may experience a medical emergency during their stay.
- An inmate may have an adverse reaction to a certain medication.
- An inmate’s health may deteriorate due to illness or disease.
- An inmate may experience a mental health crisis.
- An inmate may become seriously ill due to alcohol or drug withdrawal.
The Supreme Court of the United States held in Estelle v. Gamble that depriving inmates of healthcare is a form of cruel and unusual punishment and therefore prohibited. The care that jails must provide inmates begins when they are first admitted. Jail officials should work to understand what health needs each inmate has. There are many jail conditions that could contribute to any inmate death.
- Poor sanitation
- Inadequate nutrition
- Excessive use of restrains
- Inadequate staff training
Many in-custody deaths are highly preventable. This is particularly true with respect to deaths due to drug overdoses. Jails often fail to prevent illicit substances from entering the facility. It is crucial that inmates and their families understand that they do have rights. In particular, the family of any person that died in-custody may have recourse through a constitutional claim. It is wise to seek the guidance of an experienced civil rights attorney after any death at a jail.
Investigating Tyler Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Susan Taylor. There needs to be a thorough investigation for the sake of this woman’s family. Going to jail should never become a death sentence due to improper care.
Do you need more information about a Smith County inmate death? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We focus entirely on helping people who have been harmed by police abuses of power and jail misconduct. 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.