A George County inmate’s estate is suing the county, the city of Lucedale and registered nurse Carmon Sue Brannan because he died in the county jail after seven days without the insulin that had been delivered for him.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court accuses the county and city of “deliberate indifference” to the medical needs of William Joel Dixon, who lay overnight on a jail cell floor before Brannan realized mid-morning on Sept. 24, 2014, that he was dead, according to a sworn statement filed in the case.
Brannan is scheduled for trial Oct. 16 in George County on a manslaughter charge.
The jail had insulin on hand for Dixon, including one batch delivered by his mother and another fetched by a jailer from the glove compartment of Dixon’s car, records in the case show.
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The car was towed after a Lucedale police officer arrested Dixon on drug possession, driving under the influence and child endangerment charges.
Brannan called Dixon’s mother after he was arrested and talked to her about his diabetes and need for insulin, the lawsuit says. Brannan checked his blood sugar only once during his seven days in jail, the lawsuit says.
Witnesses from the jail have told investigators that Brannan claimed Dixon was “faking” his medical condition.
An autopsy determined Dixon died from diabetes.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages to compensate Dixon’s heirs for his death and punitive damages from Brannan.
Dixon was deprived of his constitutional rights to due process because he was denied medical treatment, the lawsuit says, despite exhibiting symptoms of illness for days. Before he lost consciousness, the lawsuit says, Dixon was unable to eat and was vomiting.
The lawsuit, which represents only the Dixon estate’s side of the case, claims George County has a policy or custom of prohibiting jail staff from summoning emergency medical assistance from outside the jail.