Suits Filed Over Starvation Death at Richmond Jail

Two lawsuits have been filed by the estate of a mentally unstable U.S. military veteran, alleging that workers and a doctor at a Richmond, Virginia, jail are liable for his death.

The lawsuits were filed in Richmond Circuit Court against Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr. and members of the jail’s medical staff, as well as Dr. Gregory J. Pleasants, the physician who was responsible for providing medical care to inmates at the jail.

According to court documents, the doctor and jail employees withheld medical treatment and failed to intervene when 41-year-old inmate Anthony Ousley refused to eat.

Ousley died on September 10, 2010, at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, where he had arrived from the Richmond Jail in “terminal” condition.

Richmond police charged Ousley, who up until his arrest had been receiving treatment for depression and anxiety at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Memphis, with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice on August 23, 2010.

After being detained at the jail for two weeks, he refused to eat for three full days, before being transferred to VCU Medical Center.

The lawsuit claims that Ousley had spent hours at a time lying naked on the floor of his cell, without even a mattress or running water.

Upon arrival at VCU, Ousley was treated for acute kidney failure and his right leg was amputated, before he slipped into a coma and later died.

Each of the two lawsuits is seeking $10.4 million in damages.

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Written by Inkelaar Law