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PrimeCare Medical Pays Bulk of $252,000 Settlement in Pennsylvania Jail Detainee’s Suicide

A $252,000 settlement was reached in October 2019 in a lawsuit brought by the estate of a pretrial detainee who hanged himself at Pennsylvania’s Northampton County Prison (NCP).

Kyle A. Flyte, 21, was booked into NCP on March 5, 2017 and was placed on “Level II Suicide Watch” the next day. He was evaluated by PrimeCare Medical psychiatrist Kishor Kumar Dedania on March 7. Dedania released Flyte from suicide watch and he was moved to a disciplinary confinement cell.

The complaint alleged the disciplinary action was based on Flyte not being honest about his drug use prior to entering NCP. While Flyte said he had not used drugs, a drug test for opioids returned a positive result. Consideration of the effect of isolation on someone with suicidal tendencies was not considered, nor were the change in circumstances concerning Flyte’s possibilities for bail.

On the morning of March 8, Flyte violated rules by hanging a blanket across the bars of his cell. He then used a shoelace and hanged himself between the half-hour guard rounds. No one investigated why a blanket was hung across the bars until a guard made rounds at 10:26 a.m.

Flyte was taken to a hospital where he died on March 13 as a proximate result of injuries from the hanging. His estate, represented by attorney John Vivian, Jr., sued the County of Northampton, its medical vendor PrimeCare Medical, and Dedania in February 2019.

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Related legal case

Flyte v. County of Northampton