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Family Files Wrongful Death Suit Against County Jail in New York

by Derek Gilna

The family of deceased prisoner Jimmy Richardson filed a federal lawsuit against the Schenectady County Jail in New York in April 2017, alleging that the facility and its medical contractor, Correctional Medical Care, wrongfully withheld medication that could have prevented his death.

The complaint alleges that the defendants knew Richardson, 53, suffered from heart disease, but initially denied him his prescription medication when he was booked into the jail, resulting in his death on January 17, 2016.

“While [Richardson] was obviously not the healthiest person, he had been successfully managing his medical conditions for several years. It was not until the defendants denied him his medication for several weeks ... that [he] died,” the complaint states. It also alleges that jail medical records purporting to show Richardson received medication were falsified.

Richardson had submitted various sick call requests, stating, “I am Hurting so Bad I need Help!” Jail records indicate that he did not receive any pain medication other than Tylenol until shortly before he died, when the lawsuit claims that he received excessive doses of morphine. The suit also alleges that on the eve of his death, Richardson sought medical care but instead was threatened with disciplinary action by a jail guard.

The suit was filed by attorney E. Robert Keach on behalf of Richardson’s widow, Bernita Richardson. See: Richardson v. Correctional Medical Care, U.S.D.C. (N.D. NY), Case No. 9:17-cv-00420-MAD-ATB. 



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Related legal case

Richardson v. Correctional Medical Care