Fabian Avery III, 17, died in an isolation cell in a Pelham, Georgia jail after officials ignored his illness because they thought he was lying about his condition, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
According to an internal investigation, Avery was moved to isolation after he repeatedly defecated on himself, eventually dying from appendicitis and complications from a bowel obstruction. When he entered the jail in February of 2011, he was 6-1, 153 lbs; at the time of his death one month later, he was 108 lbs.
His mother, Sandrini Scott, has filed suit against the police department and the city of Pelham, Georgia.
“Had the jail afforded him his constitutional rights to adequate and basic medical care, had the jail simply send him to the local hospital, yes he would still be with us today,” said attorney Jay Hirsch.
[Scott] sued the City of Pelham and the city’s police department in federal court claiming wrongful death and civil rights violations, and naming Police Chief Nealie McCormick, city manager Doug Westberry, the jail’s nurse and doctor, and four correctional officers as defendants.
Avery died of appendicitis and complications from a bowel obstruction, according to investigative documents compiled by the GBI.
He had been arrested in December 2010 on armed robbery charges and was transferred to Pelham on Feb. 15, 2011.
The complaint claims that Avery first reported being ill on Feb. 24, 2011 and was given minimal attention.
While he complained of nausea, stomach pains, vomiting and lower back pains, as well as frequently vomiting and defecating on himself, the lawsuit claims jail staff did little to help get Avery the necessary care.
“In the face of Avery’s obvious pain, deteriorating condition and pleas for help from Fabian himself, from his family and from other inmates, the medical, supervisory and correctional staff at the Mize Street Detention Center stood by and was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs,” the lawsuit reads.
“This inaction was due, in substantial part, to deficient policies of the City of Pelham and the Pelham Police Department, which failed to provide sufficient, qualified medical staff and failed to train their non-medical staff to recognize and respond to serious medical conditions.”