Hearing set for Sutter County Jail inmate death complaint
A status hearing is set for June 11 in Sacramento for a legal complaint over a Sutter County Jail inmate who fell ill while in custody and died shortly afterward.
The complaint, filed last month in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, contends jailers and jail medical staff ignored or disregarded Nathan Prasad's signs of worsening health in Jan. 2011, after he'd been jailed in connection with a charge for failure to appear in court.
"Had Nathan Prasad not been placed in a jail setting known to be dangerous and ill-equipped to ensure timely emergency medical treatment, and had such emergency treatment been summoned and provided to Nathan Prasad, his condition could have been effectively treated," the complaint states. "He would not have experienced severe pain and suffering, and his life would have been saved."
The suit was filed against Sutter County, county Sheriff J. Paul Parker, jail staff, jail medical staff and Fremont-Rideout Health Group.
Prasad died at Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville on Jan. 28, 2011, after being released from custody partially because of his declining health, including vomiting blood and turning blue.
Because of both how Prasad was treated while his condition grew worse, and because poor training didn't permit jail staff to properly address the situation, the complaint seeks damages to be determined at trial.
The complaint suggests Prasad contracted a staph infection sometime before or during his booking at the jail and died from complications from the infection.
Fremont-Rideout and a Fremont-Rideout doctor are named in the complaint because they sent Prasad back to the jail after a medical examination when he first became ill, despite the jail's reputation for poor medical care, the complaint states.
Prasad's death was also the subject of a Sutter County grand jury report released earlier this week that found deficiencies in how the jail's medical services staff handles inmate medical issues.
Kathryn Mantoan, a San Francisco attorney who filed the suit on behalf of Prasad's family, said she thinks the complaints and findings in the grand jury report are much the same.
"Our motivating factor is to see that changes really are implemented," Mantoan said, pointing out the jail's medical staff practices also drew criticism in an earlier county grand jury report.
County counsel for Sutter County did not return a call seeking comment. The suit states county officials rejected an initial claim over Prasad's death last year.
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