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$280,000 settlement after family files wrongful death suit against New Jersey jail, health providers

by Kevin Bliss

A civil action lawsuit was filed against Burlington County Jail (DCJ), CFG Health Systems, Corizon Health, Inc. and others on behalf of Jerome Iozzia after he died due to improper medical treatment and lack of medication for an abscess developed from a pulled tooth.

Iozzia was in DCJ due to a domestic issue with fiancée Jasmine Rodriguez over a car. During the arrest, Iozzia was pepper sprayed, which induced chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. Iozzia had a history of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and the adverse reaction to the pepper spray forced Deborah Heart and Lung Center (DH&LC) to implant a pacemaker in him.

Iozzia was released to DCJ with instructions for follow-up visits and medication prescriptions. While at BCJ, Iozzia had a tooth extracted, which the lawsuit alleged was performed without prophylactic antibiotic coverage as required for heart patients.

Four days later, he was admitted to the medical wing with palpitations.

There, he was found during a cell check on his floor unresponsive. Nurse Regina Evans did not even attempt to defibrillate due to the extreme amount of water on the floor from where Iozzia was brushing his teeth.

Letters and request slips for medical attention showed Iozzia had a desire for treatment, but Corizon and CFG alleged that he signed several refusals. Robert Fuggi, Jr., attorney for the Iozzia estate, stated that those documents were forged. Not only did Iozzia never get the treatment he requested, he was never transported to any of the follow-up visits required by DH&LC, nor were any of the prescribed medications in his system when autopsied. Fuggi claimed he had a licensed professional nurse who would testify that Iozzia's medical treatment was willfully inadequate.

Fuggi filed suit on behalf of Rodriguez and Iozzia's daughter, Nico, for violation of Iozzia's Fourteenth Amendment rights, asking for compensation of $25 million. The defendants settled out of court for $280,000 and a non-admission of liability.

See: Riley v. New Jersey, USDC, District of New Jersey, Case No. 1:14-cv-03729-RMB-KMW. Additional source:

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Related legal case

Riley v. New Jersey