Woman dies on courthouse floor without medical aid after arrest over unpaid ticket, suit says
ABA Journal Law New Now
May 20, 2013
By Martha Neil
Arrested and jailed over an allegedly unpaid 2008 traffic ticket, Dwana Voncia London-Richardson died, at age 45, on an Alabama courthouse floor days after sheriff's department and jail workers failed to provide her with medical treatment, a federal lawsuit says.
It names as defendants the St. Clair County sheriff, county jail administrators and a company that is responsible for providing health care to inmates, Courthouse News reports.
London-Richardson's daughter says her mom was refused treatment for her asthma and other health problems both at the jail and as she lay on the courthouse floor days later gasping for breath before a scheduled hearing.
"Everyone in the courtroom watched as Ms. Richardson died in court, on the courtroom floor," the suit says, contending that deputies neither sought help for nor cleared the courtroom. Read more here
Deputies Watch Woman Die in Court
Courthouse News Service
By IULIA FILIP
May 20, 2013
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (CN) - A woman died on a courthouse floor because Alabama sheriff's deputies refused to give her her medicine - after arresting her for an old traffic ticket, the woman's daughter claims in court......."Ms. Richardson told Ayunna that several of the inmates were trying to help her out by going to get her tray for her, since she could hardly walk, but the jailers told them that they were 'babying' her, and moved Ms. Richardson to a different area in the jail, away from the inmates that were trying to help her."
Jail staff refused to take Richardson to the hospital, despite her worsening condition, her daughter says.
"Deputy/jailer Doe responded as though he believed Ms. Richardson was just putting on.
"Ms. Richardson then stated ‘I need to lay down.’
"Ms. Richardson laid down on the courtroom floor and her body started to shaking.
"Deputy/jailer Doe took no action to assist Ms. Richardson or to clear the courtroom.
Everyone in the courtroom watched as Ms. Richardson died in court, on the courtroom floor...
...Emergency personnel arrived 45 minutes later and took Richardson, who was unresponsive, to the hospital. London says her mother was pronounced dead within 5 minutes of arriving at the hospital. She seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, wrongful death and negligence. She is represented by Charles Tatum Jr. of Jasper, Ala. Read more here
Justia Docket, Estate of Dwana Voncia London Richardson et al v. Surles et al
Case Number: 4: 2013-cv-00927
Court: Alabama Northern District Court