Insulin deprivation to Tibbetts likely cruel & unusual punishment
The death of Sarah Tibbetts in custody due to insulin deprivation is offensive. See http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/irving/headlines/20131209-irving-jail-staff-knew-diabetic-inmate-had-no-insulin-before-death.ece. If accounts that jailers knew she needed insulin are accurate, then there is a cause of action under the Eighth Amendment, because such a deprivation is tantamount to cruel & unusual punishment. Tibbetts’s estate and heirs, though, would have to prove more than negligence in all likelihood.
Pre-trial detainees, like Sarah Tibbetts, and inmates who have actually been convicted have to prove ”deliberate indifference” to prevail on a claim of denial of medical treatment. “Deliberate indifference” under the Eighth Amendment occurs only where a prison official subjectively knows of and disregards a substantial risk to the inmate’s health or safety. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994); Hare v. City of Corinth, Miss., 74 F.3d 633, 650 (5th Cir.1996).
These jailers will fight this matter hard. Do not expect a quick resolution of this matter.