The family of a woman who died of a heroin withdrawal at the Jefferson County Jail in 2015 was paid $2.5 million to settle a civil rights suit against the county.
Jennifer Lobato, 37, was arrested in March 2015 for shoplifting.
According to her autopsy, Lobato, a mother of seven, died on March 2 of dehydration.
Reports say Lobato was sweating and throwing up in her cell. She allegedly begged for help with her withdrawal symptoms.
"They said to all the other inmates in the pod, 'Look what happens when you come to jail and you are on drugs. This is what happens. Let that be a lesson to you.'" civil rights attorney David Lane told 9Wants to Know in 2015. Lane represented the Lobato family.
According to Lane, deputies failed to get medical attention for Lobato until after she became unresponsive.
Experts say heroin detox is similar to a bad case of stomach flu. Vomiting and hydration levels have to be carefully monitored, whether the patient is in jail or rehab.
Several sheriff's deputies were disciplined for ignoring Lobato's symptoms of distress and the county, through Sheriff Jeff Shrader has admitted that "...She might be alive today if there was an intervention."
The federal civil rights suit will continue against Correct Care Solutions, the private medical contractor who was charged with providing medical care to all Jefferson County Jail inmates. The County’s settlement has no impact on the remaining litigation against the private health care provider.
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