$5M Settlement Reached in New Mexico Jail Death


A $5 million settlement has been reached in the death of a man who surveillance video and records show was repeatedly denied medical care after becoming violently ill inside a county jail, according to court records obtained by The Associated Press.

The settlement marks at least the seventh multi-million dollar payout made by a New Mexico county over the last five years in response to complaints over inmate mistreatment. Several more cases are pending.

In this most recently settled case, an attorney for the mother of Douglas Edmisten, who was an inmate at the Cibola County jail, said the 50-year-old man fell ill on the night of July 7, 2016 and started vomiting blood as his complexion turned notably pale and yellow.

According to the lawsuit that attorneys for Edmisten’s mother settled with the county and several former jail personnel, Edmisten died early the next morning from a burst blood vessel in his stomach after a seven-hour ordeal in which his fellow inmates sought help for him. They also wiped the jail pod’s windows with blood and kicked its doors to stress the urgency of the situation to corrections officers.

At different points during the night, their complaints were dismissed or they were told by officers to return to their bunks.

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