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El Paso County jail health care provider blamed in deaths of six inmates

May 21, 2017 Updated: May 21, 2017 at 4:12 pm
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Correct Care Solutions of Nashville, Tenn., faces six lawsuits over inmate deaths in county jails in Colorado. Their stories:

Jennifer Lobato

When 38-year-old Jennifer Lobato was vomiting profusely during a drug withdrawal at the Jefferson County jail in March 2015, a deputy told her she wouldn't get medical help until she cleaned up the mess on her cell floor.

She pushed the intercom button and "desperately pleaded for medical attention," but the call went unanswered, her family's attorneys said in a legal complaint. Her cellmate noticed she wasn't breathing about 20 minutes later.

She died of an electrolyte imbalance - what would have been a treatable condition, the lawyers say, if a nurse and several deputies she had spoken to had given her proper medical attention.

Lobato was a mother of seven children, then ranging in age from 4 to 19. She was arrested the day before her death for shoplifting from an Old Navy, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Denver in December 2015. Correct Care Solutions is named as a defendant in the suit.

Jefferson County agreed to pay her family $2.5 million to settle the suit in November, The Denver Post reported.

But the case is pending. Denver attorney Erica Grossman, one of her family's lawyers, said her clients are seeking a settlement.

Lobato's death came less than three months after a jury ordered Correct Care Solutions to pay more than $10 million to Kenneth McGill, whose cries for help were ignored after he suffered a stroke at the jail in September 2012.

Barton Grubbs

A nurse allegedly failed to take action after Barton Grubbs said he took "around 70 Valium" shortly after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and taken to the Weld County jail in March 2014.

He was found slumped over on his bed, brain-dead in his jail cell the next morning, according to a lawsuit filed over his death. The complaint, which names Correct Care Solutions as a defendant, was filed in U.S. District Court in Denver in March 2016. The case is pending.

Grubbs, who was still grieving after his son had died a year earlier, emptied two prescribed bottles of Valium and Percocet into his mouth as a trooper turned around to fill out paperwork, according to the lawsuit, which cites jail surveillance footage.

After he told the nurse, her supervisor instructed her to call his medical provider to ask for prescribed drugs that could counteract the effects of the dosage; but the nurse didn't believe Grubbs claim and did not follow through.

An officer at the jail later said in an interview that she believed Grubbs should have been taken to the hospital, but she "had been trained not to disagree with the medical staff on questions of admittance," according to the lawsuit.

Jeffrey Scott Lillis

Jeffrey Scott Lillis, 37, died of pneumonia and sepsis at the Arapaho County jail in December 2014. In a lawsuit filed over his death two years later, attorneys argue both conditions are "easily treatable" with timely medical care. Correct Care Solutions is named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Photo courtesy of attorneys .  

In December 2014, Jeffrey Scott Lillis was found in a pool of his blood and vomit at the Arapahoe County jail in Centennial.

The 37-year-old pretrial detainee died of bacterial pneumonia and sepsis - both "easily treatable conditions" with timely medical care, according to a federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Denver in December.

His death came three days after he sent an unanswered complaint to his jailers: "help, I am very sick, with a fever, headaches, cough, overall not feeling so good also my skin is so dry its driving me crazy."

Correct Care Solutions and seven individually named health care providers are among the defendants in the case, which is ongoing.

Tomas Beauford

Tiffany Marsh was extremely close with her son, Tomas Beauford, 24. He died in his cell at the Mesa County jail in April 2014 after suffering a series of seizures. Jail staff failed to administer his medicine and denied him a medical device that could have stopped or reduced the intensity of his seizures, according to a lawsuit his mother filed over his death in April 2014. Correct Care Solutions is named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Photo courtesy of attorneys. 

Nurses and deputies watched as Tomas Beauford suffered "seizure after seizure" in the weeks leading up to his death at the Mesa County jail in April 2014, his mother's attorneys said in a legal complaint.

Beauford, who was 24 at the time of his death, had the mental capacity of a 6-year-old child.

His epilepsy ultimately led to his demise after deputies repeatedly failed to administer his medicine, according to the lawsuit. A special medical bracelet, which functioned with a neural transplant to reduce the duration or intensity of his seizures, was taken from him when he entered the jail.

His need for medical attention was "actively ignored," the attorneys said in the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Denver in April 2014. Correct Care Solutions is among the defendants in the case, which is pending.

When Beauford was booked into jail on suspicion of a misdemeanor assault, his mother gave jail officials specific instructions about how to convince her son to take his medication, but her advice went unheeded, according to the lawsuit.

Hours before his death, a nurse and deputy witnessed him having a roughly 5-minute seizure. The nurse checked a bed sore on his back and left his cell without offering medication or further care.

Tanya Martinez

Tanya Martinez was found dead in her cell at the Pueblo County jail in June 2013 less than 30 minutes after a deputy asked a nurse to check on her. It would have taken the nurse less than 1 minute to walk from the medical office to Martinez's wing, according to a lawsuit her family filed over her death.

But the nurse didn't respond to the call, later admitting she thought the call was about a male inmate who had soiled himself, the lawsuit states.

Martinez, who succumbed to a seizure related to alcohol withdrawal, was discovered by a deputy delivering her dinner. The mother of two was 36 when she died.

For more than 12 hours leading up to her death, jailers observed her vomiting repeatedly and shaking uncontrollably. Her hands shook so severely deputies had to help her drink water and unwrap a sandwich.

Shortly after she was arrested the previous day, Martinez told an EMT she drank a fifth of vodka three times a week and noted on an intake form that she had an alcohol problem.

Correct Care Solutions and several individual health care practitioners are named in the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Denver in June 2015.

John Patrick Walter

John Patrick Walter, 53, died at the Fremont County jail in August 2014 from withdrawals after he was deprived of his prescribed anti-anxiety drug. Correct Care Solutions is now named as a defendant in a federal lawsuit over his death. 

John Patrick Walter, a 53-year-old inmate at the Fremont County jail, shed 30 pounds in less than three weeks in full view of his jailers before he died naked on his cell floor in August 2014.

In March, the El Paso County Coroner's Office concluded that his rapid deterioration was the result of deadly withdrawals after he was deprived of his prescription Klonopin, an anti-anxiety drug similar to Ativan or Xanax.

The finding verified a central claim in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in March 2016 in U.S. District Court in Denver, with Correct Care Solutions among the defendants.

The autopsy didn't explain how he suffered multiple broken ribs or why he had an imprint of a jail-issue sandal on his lower back.

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