When a person is killed because of another person’s negligence, Massachusetts law permits the survivors of the victim to recover damages on behalf of their deceased loved one in a wrongful death action. Like any case based on negligence, the plaintiff must be able to prove four elements to recover money damages in a wrongful death case. These four elements are duty, breach, causation and damages. Essentially, the decedent’s beneficiaries must prove that the defendant owed their loved one a duty, and that a breach of that duty caused the decedent’s death.
Thirty-six-year-old Ben Phillips was arrested on June 9, 2014 for driving under the influence. He was taken to jail, and eventually transported to the Hinds County Detention Center in Mississippi. Phillips was diabetic, and required twice-daily insulin shots. Despite this health requirement, he did not receive insulin at all for the first four days that he was imprisoned. Medical records show inconsistencies regarding when and if he received insulin. What is clear, however, is that between June 9th when he was arrested, and June 17th, he was sent to two different hospitals because of health problems. His family was not notified about either visit.
Doctors prescribed him several medicines, including his twice-daily insulin injections. On June 18th and 19th, guards properly administered the injections. But on the third day after returning to jail, prison officials neglected to give him his evening injection. He was found dead in his cell the next day.
According to prison officials, the jail had been on lock down, which prevented Phillips from getting his medicine. Devastated by their son’s death, the Phillips have filed a lawsuit against Hinds County and its medical care company, Quality Choice Correctional Health Care. The Phillips are represented by attorney Charles Mullins. The lawsuit alleges several claims of liability, including unconstitutional conditions of confinement, denial of medical care, negligence, medical malpractice, and negligent hiring and supervision. The Phillips are asking for $7.5 million in damages.
Losing a loved on is devastating. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, please call 617-787-3700 now for your free and completely confidential consultation with one of our dedicated and highly skilled Boston, Massachusetts wrongful death attorneys.