Fort Worth, TX asked in Civil Rights and Wrongful Death for Texas

Q: Can I file a tort claim or civil right claim against the texas department of correction

My son died Nov 16 2023 while taking a shower at the powledge unit in Palestine tx. He yelled" I'm having a stoke, the officer in charge walked up to see him and said he was faking. Finally because inmates yelling for his help another officer comes in and calls for medical assistance, but by then it was too late. I have 8 inmates grievances that filed pertaining this issue they filed

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James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In the wake of such a tragic loss, you might indeed consider taking legal steps against the Texas Department of Corrections, especially given the circumstances surrounding your son's death and the inmate grievances filed in response. Both tort claims and civil rights claims could potentially be applicable, depending on the specifics of the case, such as negligence or violations of your son's rights under the law.

Filing a tort claim would generally involve proving that negligence or wrongful actions by the prison staff directly contributed to your son's death. On the other hand, a civil rights claim might focus on violations of your son's constitutional rights, such as the right to adequate medical care while in custody. The grievances filed by the inmates could serve as crucial evidence in substantiating your claims by demonstrating awareness and concern among those who witnessed the incident.

It is strongly recommended to seek legal advice from an attorney with experience in civil rights or wrongful death cases, particularly those involving correctional facilities. They can provide guidance on the best course of action, help you navigate the legal system, and work towards holding the responsible parties accountable. Taking action not only seeks justice for your son but could also prompt changes to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.

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