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TDCJ Blamed for Wrongful Death

On November 8, 2001, Attorney Bobby R. Taylor, with the Law Offices of Bobby R. Taylor in Austin, Texas, filed a civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983 and 1988 against a number of Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) officials and staff, including Executive Director Gary Johnson, as well as various medical personnel. The complaint was brought by Louise Thompson on behalf of the estate of Susie M. Clark, who died on November 10, 1999 while in TDCJ custody.

Compensatory and punitive damages were sought for the wrongful death of Ms. Clark, which was caused by the lack of "reasonable and minimal medical care and attention" at the institution where she was being housed. For months prior to Clark's demise, she continuously complained of numerous severe medical problems, all of which were minimized, made fun of or ignored by correctional staff and medical staff. Her official cause of death is listed as "septic shock and cryptococcal meningitis.

The suit alleges the substandard medical care and the willful, intentional, and malicious disregard for Clark's right to medical care, directly resulted in her death. Plaintiff also sought exemplary damages against each individual Defendant, except for Director Johnson, who was sued only in his official capacity.

See: Thompson v. Johnson, et al., U.S.D.C., W.D.-Tx., Austin, #A-O1-CA-769-JN.

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Related legal case

Thompson v. Johnson, et al.