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Home / News in Brief / Family of woman who died in Virginia jail settles lawsuit

Family of woman who died in Virginia jail settles lawsuit

PORTSMOUTH (AP) The family of a woman who died at a Virginia jail after staff ignored her drug withdrawal symptoms has agreed to settle a lawsuit for $500,000, a family attorney said.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Pamela Riddick was booked into the Portsmouth city jail on Aug. 21, 2017, on outstanding warrants following a car crash. She died less than two days later.

According to a lawsuit filed by Riddick’s four sisters, Riddick told a booking officer she regularly used heroin and was suffering from cramping, vomiting and diarrhea. Instead of notifying medical staff about her condition, the deputy had Riddick sent to general population.

Video showed that no deputy walked past Riddick’s cell for nearly an hour and a half in the early morning hours of Aug. 23, 2017, even though department policy required deputies to walk their posts two times per hour. During that time, Riddick can be seen on the video waving her arms and hands through the bars of her cell trying to get help.

An autopsy showed she died of fentanyl toxicity, with recent cocaine intoxication contributing to her death. The family’s lawsuit alleged that deputies falsified logs after Riddick died to make it appear that they had checked on her more often than they did.

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