The parents of a second man to die in as many days in a Los Angeles County jail in 2017 are suing the county, the Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Health Services, alleging their diabetic son would have lived with proper medical care.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Samuel Caldwell and Tameca Spriggs in Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges wrongful death, negligence, medical malpractice and civil rights violations in the death of 29-year-old son Octavius Caldwell.
An LASD representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the suit, which was filed Friday and seeks unspecified damages.
The LASD previously said deputies doing a security check last September at the Inmate Reception Center said they found a man unresponsive and alone in his cell and that he had suffered from an unknown medical condition. Another inmate death at Men’s Central Jail had occurred the previous day.
Caldwell, who suffered from Type 1 diabetes, was arrested last Sept. 23. He was transferred from the Men’s Central Jail to County-USC Medical Center for medical treatment, but was sent back to the same jail two days later, the suit states.
Caldwell died another two days later and “his lifeless body was found alone in his cell,” according to his parents’ court papers.
The suit states that Caldwell’s parents later obtained a report from the coroner’s office that showed their son’s death was caused by diabetic ketoacidosis, a complication of diabetes that occurs when the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. The condition develops when the body cannot produce enough insulin.
The suit alleges that all of the defendants shared responsibility to look after Caldwell and that they could have “prevented his death with proper care, monitoring and medical treatment.”