Texas Jail Project About Newsletters Stories Reports In The News Jail Commission Peer Voices Campaigns & Actions Contact Donate

Lawsuit Against Brazoria County Jailers

Mar 1st, 2012 | Category: Brazoria County

By CAMERON LANGFORD in a story from Courthouse News Service

GALVESTON, Texas (CN) – A widow claims in court that county jailers caused her husband’s stroke and death by withholding his medication – and that jailers dumped his full bedpan on him as he lay sick in bed.
Shelley McPeak-Torres sued Brazoria County and its Sheriff Charles Wagner in a pro se complaint in Federal Court. Her son Alexander Torres, also sued.
Torres claims her husband, Lisandro Torres, was arrested and booked into the Brazoria County Jail on Sept. 18, 2009, on a charge of driving while intoxicated.
“Prior to his arrest, Torres suffered from a number of physical ailments, including diabetes, which required him to take daily medications, and high blood pressure, which required daily medication,” according to the complaint. “Upon his detention in the BCDC, Torres informed the staff, employees of Sheriff Wagner and Brazoria County, of his medical conditions and medication needs.
“Defendants wholly ignored and failed to provide Torres with necessary medical care. Without his medication and proper medical care, Torres suffered a severe stroke.”
The widow says the county took Torres to a Houston hospital for treatment for several days, then returned him to jail.
“As a result of the stroke, Torres suffered certain physical limitations. Specifically, Torres had difficulty walking, talking, chewing or swallowing. These symptoms became progressively worse while in the custody of the defendants,” the complaint states. “Despite repeated requests from Torres and his wife, defendants refused to provide proper medical care.
“Over the course of a few months Torres lost approximately 70 pounds. Torres was unable to chew or swallow his food. The jailers and staff of the BCDC belittled him and refused to provide him with food or medical care.
“The jailers and staff of BCDC, accused Torres of ‘faking’ his medical conditions and physical limitations.
“Torres was required to take several medications. BCDC staff would limit the time for him to swallow his medications, and refuse to give him adequate time given his difficulty swallowing. BCDC failed to provide him liquid or alternative medications that were easier for him to swallow. As Torres’ condition worsened, he was unable to walk or get out of his bed. Torres was unable to get up to use the bathroom or wash himself. Torres pleaded with BCDC staff and other inmates to assist him
The widow says the jailhouse staff flatly refused, telling her husband “he could not have his medication unless he ‘got off his ass, and out of bed.'”
She says Torres’ cellmates put a small container next to his bed to serve as his bedpan.
“One of the jailers saw the ‘bedpan’ and became enraged at Torres and the other inmates. The BCDC jailer, entered the cell and poured the full contents of the ‘bedpan’ on Torres as he lay in his bed,” the widow says in her complaint.
“The jailer stated to Torres that he can get off his ass and stop faking, or he can lay there in his own waste and stench.
“As a result of defendants’ total disregard for Torres’ medical care and nutrition, Torres died in the custody of defendants on March 12, 2010.”
The mother and son seek damages for wrongful death and civil rights violations.

Tags: , , ,
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

10 years ago

What bothers me the most is alot of this is inaccurate and some was never told to anyone except the immediate family. He DID NOT HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE PRIOR TO ARREST. He was in perfect health, only an insulin diabetic. But I appreciate the story. Thank you Diana C for your support, I am grateful I had someone whom cared.

9 years ago

I think its fair to say that in real life and real time commisioner steve radcak is doing what the people of Harris county elected him to do,which is to view all the options that are available and put them on the table for discussion,i must say in my former life i would have rejected the notion of a private jail with out review-but not today,today i would bring in the private sector and allow them to put all the cards on the table so that there would be transparency for the gen- public to review and at the end of the day-i would put it to a vote with in commisioners court-lets all be honest-ive known adrian garcia for years,officially,alot of inmates have died and been killed in that jail since he has taken office and that concerns the hell out of me,and i dont give a damn if your republican or democrat, when there lifting bodys out of the Harris county jail to transport to the funeral homes and thousands of inmates are being jammed and crammmed into small cage like cells for 7 to 8 hrs for court,you better sure as fire , be looking at alternatives for theses inmates safety, i support steve radcak’s concern and effort to protect and provide a more effecient jail, that is so badly needed,after all,thats why weve elected him over and over again for the last twenty years. the way it is-joshua ben bullard 2011

3 years ago

So he didn’t have high blood pressure and wasn’t taking medication for high blood pressure before going to jail?

9 years ago

I truly feel your pain