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Louisiana Jail Settles Suicide Suit For $3 Million

On June 10, 2004, the City of Shreveport, Louisiana, agreed to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit arising from the suicide death of a prisoner in. the city's jail.

Frances Loggins, 48, was arrested for public drunkenness and taken to the Shreveport City Jail on July 5, 2002. Loggins informed the arresting officer that she was going to kill herself, and the officer told jail supervisors.
After being processed in, Loggins was put in a day cell--a recreation area that contains a shower hidden from security cameras. Approximately 30 minutes later, Loggins hung herself from a shower rod using her jail-issued pants. She was in a coma for four days and died after life support was discontinued.

Loggins' family brought a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 lawsuit against the City, the mayor, and various jail officials in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana alleging violation of Loggins' due process rights and deliberate indifference to her serious medical needs. The family specifically claimed that when jailers learned that Loggins was suicidal they should have taken her to the hospital for evaluation and should have dressed her in paper clothes pursuant to jail policy. The family also cited a 2000 report which found the jail was understaffed, inadequately designed, and used outdated surveillance equipment.

Loggins' survivors--her husband and four children--sought wrongful death and survival damages for the pain and suffering they and Loggins experienced. A nursing school student, Loggins' future wage loss was estimated at $800,000.

The City settled before trial, agreeing to pay $3 million on behalf of itself and all defendants. The family was represented by Laurie W. Lyons of the Shreveport law firm Walker, Tooke & Lyons. See: Loggins v. City of Shreveport, USDC WD LA., Case No. CV03-1277 S.

Source: VerdictSearch National

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Related legal case

Loggins v. City of Shreveport