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County settles with family of wrongful death victim

Inmates requiring medical attention in Tampa should get as much help as possible. Sadly, this isn't the case, claims a recent wrongful death lawsuit filed against the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and a private medical care company.

A 51-year-old man was arrested last year after his vehicle was found stopped along Interstate 275. Speaking incoherently to officers and unable to move the left side of his body, the man was arrested on a charge of obstructing a law enforcement officer for failing to respond to commands to exit his vehicle.

No medical screening was conducted and the man was put in a cell where he laid face-down on the floor. Able to only move one side of his body, he was found the next night lying in his own urine. He was taken to a local hospital where he slipped into a coma and died three months later. The hospital found that he had suffered from an ischemic stroke.

The County settled the case out-of-court for $1 million. The medical care company paid $800,000 while the Sheriff's Office dished out $200,000. Still, many are perplexed by the quality of medical services provided by the county and the private companies it contracts with.

Most importantly, many have questioned why a person as kind as the victim was thrown behind bars, left untreated for the stroke, and basically allowed to just slip away. Sources found that the man was an upstanding member of the local community who had a passion for baseball and coached little leaguers.

Money can't bring back to life a little league baseball coach. But it can give a measure of justice for the family who lost a loved one. A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury expert may be able to offer advice and work out something that allows families to receive some financial compensation for their pain and suffering, and towards their recovery.

Source: Tampa Bay Times," Hillsborough sheriff's deputies not disciplined in inmate's death," Peter Jamison, July 10, 2013

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