Trial set in civil go well with over Davis County inmate’s dying from inner bleeding after fall | Courts
FARMINGTON – A judge has filed a lawsuit to see if Davis County is liable for civil harm because a prison nurse failed to check an inmate’s vital signs and she blew to death internally.
In a hearing on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Jill Parrish tried Salt Lake City January 24-28, 2022 over the civil rights lawsuit filed by Cynthia Stella of Reno, Nevada, on December 21, 2016, before her daughter, Heather Miller.
Miller, 28, who had been arrested on charges of offenses, fell from her bunk and an autopsy revealed that she had lost 1.3 liters of blood from a severed spleen while in a cell.
The case shifted towards trial last month when the U.S. 10th Court of Appeals dismissed Davis County’s appeal against Parrish’s 2019 ruling against prison sister Marvin Anderson and the county.
Parrish decided that a reasonable jury could conclude that Anderson and the County of Miller’s medical care were intentionally indifferent to medical care related to their fatal fall.
Miller’s death also shed light on the decade-old medical section of Davis Prison. His six cells were full the night Miller died; She had no apparent medical supervision in the cell she was left in.
The county recently laid the foundation stone for a new $ 9 million medical observation wing.
Miller’s case and the deaths of five others in Davis Prison in 2016 also sparked a public record fight that resulted in a ruling against the county last month.
Second District Judge David Connors ruled Davis County must distribute Utah Jail Standards documents to two civil rights groups and found that the Utah Public Records Act allows such disclosures in accordance with state doctrine on the fair use of copyright law.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah and the Disability Law Center filed a petition in 2017 to lift the county’s rejection of a request for records, which was serving as legal aid to the operation of their prisons across the state at the time.
Stella’s civil lawsuit seeks a jury to determine whether the county and Anderson will be deliberately indifferent to Miller’s welfare as the trial progresses.
To be civil entitled to medical care in prison, a plaintiff must demonstrate that evidence of alleged intentionally indifferent care overcomes the legal protections of qualified immunity of government employees. If a government agency can demonstrate that the employees’ actions were appropriate, no civil claim can be made.
Daniel Baczynski, one of Stella’s attorneys, recently said that while the county has been improving medical screening, health care and launching the medical wing project since 2016, the issue of accountability remains.
“Nobody came out and said, ‘What we did was wrong’ and nobody took responsibility and a young woman died from it,” said Baczynski.
In a 2019 court filing, Anderson said he thought Miller was going to withdraw from narcotics, adding that he was biased into accepting such a condition because it was so common among prison inmates.