The family of a Florida man who suffered a stroke while driving, and was erroneously arrested and later died after he was left in a jail cell partially paralyzed and stewing in his urine, received a $1 million dollar wrongful death settlement because he didn't receive appropriate medical help.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the private company responsible for the medical care of county prisoners, paid the collective $1 million settlement to the children of 51-year-old Allen Daniel Hicks Sr., who stewed in agony for about 36 hours without medical care as officers failed to realize he was suffering a stroke.
Hicks' descent into death began on the morning of May 11, 2012, when a sheriff's deputy and a Florida Highway Patrol trooper found him in his car stopped on the side of Interstate 275. Hicks' Chevy Cavalier was reportedly seen swerving into a guardrail according to records of the incident.
According to the reports Hicks was incoherent and unable to move his left arm. He was arrested and charged with obstructing a law enforcement officer when he failed to exit his car on command. Officers then booked him and placed him in the Orient Road Jail where he receive no medical screening. He was then place in a cell.
"On the night of May 12, soaked in his own urine, his brain choked of blood, he was at last taken to Tampa General Hospital and diagnosed with an ischemic stroke. He slipped into a coma and died within three months," noted the Tampa Bay Times.
A four-minute video of Hicks suffering inside the cell shows him being placed facedown on the cell floor, writhing and crawling between slides of the video.
Armor Correctional Health Services Inc., the company responsible for proving healthcare to county inmates, paid $800,000 to Hicks' estate in an out-of-court settlement which was approved in February by a probate judge. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office paid the remaining $200,000.
"It is clear that mistakes were made by Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office employees and contracted medical staff employed by Armor Correctional Health Services," the sheriff's office noted in a statement on the case to the Tampa Bay Times.
"The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office took immediate responsibility for its actions and accountability for its mistakes by conducting a thorough review of the entire matter and working with Hicks' family through their legal representatives to reach an amicable settlement," the sheriff's office noted.
The sheriff's office also noted that they have instituted new training to help officers recognize stroke symptoms.
An investigation into the medical care received by Hicks has also been launched by the Florida Department of Health, according to a report last Friday.