Denial of Necessary Medications Leads to Inmate Death



Austin Personal Injury Lawyers

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers - Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 16, 2016 – The $25 million wrongful death lawsuit filed in this case was the result of 32-year-old Jesse Jacobs dying in custody after being denied his medications.

Jacobs’ parents filed the wrongful death lawsuit after their son died in the Galveston County jail while serving a 30-day sentence for drunk driving. On admission early in March 2015, he presented his list of required medications along with a note from his physician that indicated he must continue taking them as prescribed.

By March 9, 2015, Jacobs told his parents he had not been given any of his medications. By March 10, he began having seizures. Three days later, the inmate was found unresponsive in his cell and had no pulse. He was rushed to hospital and pronounced dead.

According to the inmate’s parents, one of the medications their son was supposed to keep taking was Xanax, a drug he had been taking for 13 years. In addition to the Xanax, he was also prescribed medications for multiple mental conditions, including anxiety, depression and ADD. It is the parent’s firm belief that not giving their son his Xanax caused his untimely death — a belief backed up by autopsy findings indicating Jesse Jacobs died of seizure disorder and the “abrupt discontinuation of long-term alprazolam (Xanax) medication.”

“The Galveston County Sheriff indicated Zanax was not given to Jacobs because it was a narcotic. Xanax is a controlled substance, but is not in the narcotics classification,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin wrongful death attorney, not involved in this case. There is an investigation to determine what happened and whether or not there is to be disciplinary action taken against the two physicians who made the decision to stop giving Jacobs his Xanax.

“In Texas, the spouse, parents and children of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim,” Schuelke explained. Grandparents and siblings of the deceased are not allowed to file such a claim. Any named family member may file individually or the whole family may file jointly. “However, if they do not file a wrongful claim within three months of the death, an executor may file a claim for the estate, unless such a claim is blocked by a family member,” Schuelke said.

Compensation received in a successful wrongful death lawsuit is usually given to all family members affected by the death and divided up amongst eligible survivors. In most cases the family needs to show the court personal and financial losses sustained by every member so a judge and/or jury is able to calculate compensation.

Learn more at