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Mother of Inmate who Died After 21-Hour Restraint Settles Lawsuit Against Southwest Missouri Jail Employees

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Mother of Inmate who Died After 21-Hr Restraint Settles

Mother of Inmate who Died After 21-Hr Restraint Settles

The mother of a man who died in a southwest Missouri jail after spending several hours in a restraint chair has settled her lawsuit against Jasper County and other defendants.

Jane Brown of Joplin, Missouri, alleged in the lawsuit that her son, 43-year-old Richard Watson, was strapped into a restraint chair for at least 21 hours without proper food, water or medication. Watson died eight days after he was arrested for an alleged violation of a protection order taken out against him by his stepfather. Jail officials were unable to resuscitate Watson, who had mental and physical health issues, after he was found unresponsive and not breathing. Brown’s lawsuit alleged the chair’s manufacturer advises that no one be left in the restraints for more than two hours, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Brown, who received $250,000 to settle the lawsuit filed on December 18, 2012, told The Joplin Globe on Tuesday that her son told jail staff that he had high blood pressure, back pain, anxiety and depression. He also told them that he had been prescribed about a dozen medications. The jail was also aware of Watson’s history of alcohol abuse, the AP reported.

Watson’s autopsy showed the man was “constantly thrashing” and “throwing himself against the restraints” while he was strapped to the chair until he “seemed to relax and died.” The autopsy found that the man died from heart problems caused by “strenuous exercise of agitation induced by alcohol withdrawal” and his death was ruled from natural causes, according to the AP.

Brown, who viewed video footage of her son in restraints, told the AP that Watson was not combative. “He was going through withdrawal and seizures.”

The grieving mother’s lawsuit named 13 current or former jail employees, including a doctor and a nurse, contended the doctor and nurse did not check on her son frequently enough and ignored a sharp drop in his blood pressure, the AP reported.

Sheriff Randy Kaiser, who was not sheriff at the time, explained to the AP that inmates sometimes require lengthy restraint times, and that jail staff is required to check on inmates every half-hour while they are in the chair. According to Kaiser, the last time staff checked on Watson was 19 minutes before he was found dead.

breakinglawsuitnews.com disclaimer: This article: Mother of Inmate who Died After 21-Hour Restraint Settles Lawsuit Against Southwest Missouri Jail Employees was posted on Monday, January 5th, 2015 at 3:23 pm at breakinglawsuitnews.com and is filed under Medical Malpractice Lawsuits, Other Lawsuits.

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