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Lawsuit Alleges Workers Falsified Medical Records Of Inmate Who Died At Jackson County Jail

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The family of a woman who died in 2017 at the Jackson County Detention Center has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the county, the private company that provided medical services at the jail and four current and former county employees.

The family of a woman who died in custody at the Jackson County Detention Center in 2017 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming workers ignored the woman's pleas for help and falsified her medical records.

ReGina Thurman died "a horrible and preventable death" about 14 hours after arriving at the jail on Jan. 20, 2017, according to the lawsuit filed in Jackson County Circuit Court by Thurman's family earlier this month. The Kansas City Star first reported the lawsuit on Monday. 

Thurman, who had been arrested on a warrant alleging a probation violation, complained of chest pain numerous times while she awaited in-processing, according to the lawsuit.

During that time, other inmates at turns helped Thurman stand up, asked workers to assist her and even called Thurman's daughter to explain that the 53-year-old woman was "lying curled up in a ball... having chest pains and no one was listening to her," the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit also alleges:

  • Nurses thought Thurman was suffering from heartburn and gave her antacids, when in fact she had suffered an aortic tear that would cause her death.
  • Paramedics were called to the jail "only after ReGina Thurman went pulseless."
  • Workers accused Thurman of purposefully holding her breath, and dismissed her medical problem as "jail-litus (sic)."
  • Thurman's vital signs were recorded on at least three occasions but video footage shows nobody actually measured her vital signs.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Jackson County; Correct Care Solutions LLC, the private company that provided medical services at the jail; and four current or former county employees.
Chris Haxel is a reporter for KCUR 89.3. Email him at chaxel@kcur.org, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisHaxel.

As a reporter covering military and veterans’ affairs, I tell the stories of current and former service members and their families. I hold the government, elected officials and others responsible when they break their promises. And I explore how Americans can best uphold our commitments to those who serve.
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