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Settlements in St. Louis Jail Detainee’s Heroin Withdrawal Death

The City of St. Louis, Missouri and Correctional Medical Services (CMS, now Corizon Health) both agreed to pay settlements in a lawsuit filed by the estate of a jail detainee who died due to heroin withdrawal.

Upon being booked into a St. Louis jail in July 2007, Isaac Bennett, Jr. told a CMS nurse that he was a heroin addict who had used the drug the day before his arrest. During the next 48 hours Bennett experienced diarrhea and vomiting, which were “[c]lassic symptoms of heroin withdrawal” according to his estate’s complaint. Despite those symptoms, he “was not given even the most basic medical treatments.”

On July 23, 2007, two days after his arrest, Bennett died due to “metabolic changes secondary to withdrawal from heroin causing disturbance of cardiac rhythm and resulting in cardiac arrest,” the complaint stated. His estate filed suit in federal court in 2010.

CMS, as is its usual practice, agreed to pay a confidential settlement. The district court approved a separate settlement agreement with the City of St. Louis on March 5, 2014, with the city agreeing to pay $10,000. See: Youell v. Correctional Medical Services, U.S.D.C. (E.D. Missouri), Case No. 4:10-cv-01180-TIA.

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Related legal case

Youell v. Correctional Medical Services