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Lawsuit: Jail staff never gave inmate meds before her death

(AP) A Virginia inmate suffered a fatal stroke in her cell after jail employees never gave her the stroke-prevention medications she had been prescribed after open-heart surgery, according to a lawsuit.

Jaimee Kirkwood Reese, 32, died in a hospital upon suffering a stroke in her cell at Northern Neck Regional Jail in March 2016, news organizations reported.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in a Richmond court, said more than 11 hours elapsed before Reese was admitted to the hospital, at which time she was already brain-dead. The suit said that instead of being taken to the hospital immediately, Reese was taken by stretcher to a cell for medical observation, where she stayed for hours.

Reese was serving a one-year sentence on drug charges and had been at the jail in Warsaw for two weeks.

Dorothy Ann Thompson, a relative and administrator of Reese’s estate, filed the lawsuit against five correctional officers and a nurse who worked at the jail.

“This lawsuit underscores three problems that have become all too common and pervasive throughout the commonwealth: The worsening epidemic of opioid addiction, the warehousing in jails of individuals recovering from substance abuse … and the substandard medical care that is being administered on a daily basis to those in the state’s regional jails and lockups,” said Mark D. Dix, Thompson’s attorney, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Superintendent Ted Hull declined to comment on the lawsuit.

He said Hull’s death had been reviewed internally, but he declined to release the results of the review. No policies or procedures were changed as a result, he said.

Reese was the third inmate to die at the jail since 2011, according to state records.

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