PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — A wrongful death lawsuit claims a diabetic Mississippi inmate, jailed for allegedly violating her own protection order, died while pleading for insulin from authorities and medical personnel who largely ignored her.
The woman’s daughter, Kayla Rush, is suing Jackson County, the sheriff’s office, sheriff, jailers and the then-contracted health care provider, The Sun Herald of Biloxi reports. She’s seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages for negligence, pain and failure to provide Cindy Michelle Arnold, 38, with standard medical care.
“People who are in jail are even more vulnerable because they don’t have access to their own medicine,” Rush’s attorney, Christopher Klotz, said. “So, they are counting on the jail for medicine that could be lifesaving. When a jail fails to take responsibility, then things like this happen.”
Arnold was found dead on the floor of her Jackson County jail cell in September 2018, just two days after being arrested and charged with violating her protective order against her former common-law husband. Authorities said she had called her ex and invited him to her home, where they got into a dispute.
Klotz said he still is waiting for the results of her autopsy.
The state Bureau of Investigation has investigated Arnold’s death and a grand jury determined there was no criminal wrongdoing. The county later ended its contract with health care provider Comprehensive Medical Associates, Inc.
Sheriff Mike Ezell said he could not comment on pending litigation. Attorneys for other defendants denied any wrongdoing. Comprehensive Medical Associates responded to the lawsuit with a court filing that says one of its nurses attempted to medically evaluate Arnold, but she refused to cooperate.