The mother and son of a woman who died at a hospital less than a week after her arrest and what police said was an in-custody suicide attempt are suing the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County.
Virginia Wheeler and Jonathon Goetz filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court stemming from the death last year of 40-year-old Angela Slack. They are seeking unspecified damages on allegations of wrongful death, deprivation of life without due process, interference with parent-child relationship and failure to provide medical care while in police custody.
Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office, said he had no immediate comment.
According to the lawsuit filed Tuesday, Slack was arrested on prostitution charges on March 12, 2015, and was brought to the LAPD’s Foothill Division station, where she was left in a holding area while exhibiting emotional instability.
The LAPD reported that Slack was alone and unsupervised when she removed her blouse, fashioned a noose and attempted to hang herself, according to the suit, which alleges she was not provided immediate medical care.
Slack was eventually taken while unconscious to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, where she was diagnosed with a brain injury as well as wounds and abrasions elsewhere on her body, including her head, right breast, arms, leg and pelvic region, the suit states.
Slack died at the hospital six days after her arrest and two days after her family arrived from Minnesota. Before her death, Slack had no major health problems and no history of suicide attempts, the suit states.
“The delay of medical care to Ms. Slack caused Ms. Slack physical deficits that led to her death,” the suit alleges.
An autopsy concluded that Slack died of suicide by hanging even though there was no evidence of injury to her neck, according to the suit.
— City News Service