The parents of a Salt Lake County Jail inmate who died following an asthma attack have filed a wrongful death suit seeking more than $26 million.
Theodore and Rose Davis, parents of Kevin Davis, 23, charge in the suit filed in 3rd District Court that jail personnel knew of their son's condition but repeatedly refused to give him his medication.Davis, who was being held awaiting preliminary hearing on charges of aggravated robbery, died July 6, 1986, after slipping into unconsciousness while being held in the jail's medical wing, according to police reports.
An autopsy performed the following day showed he died from a severe asthma attack.
The lawsuit says the young man's prescription medication had been taken away from him when he was booked into jail in May 1986, but that his parents were repeatedly assured by jail personnel that he was receiving it.
Their last call occurred only five hours before he died, the lawsuit said.
"Despite death of deceased, jail personnel continued to assert . . . that he at all times received `proper medication,' however, an autopsy done within hours of (the) death of Kevin Davis revealed `no drugs were detected,"' the lawsuit says.
The family also charge that jail procedures prohibited Davis from being visited by his personal physician. A jail physician was on duty at the time of his death, according to sheriff's reports.
The lawsuit accuses the county jail officials of negligence in their handling of Davis's problems and accuses the county sheriff's department of depriving the dead man of his civil rights by depriving him of proper medical treatment.
It says the sheriff's office should have known how sick the man was and could have prevented his death with proper training of jail personnel.
The suit seeks $5 million in general damages, $10 million in punitive damages, an additional $10 million in compensation for Davis' 5-year-old son, $1 million in attorney's fees and other special damages to be determined at trial.