BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4)– A family says workers at the Adams County Jail did nothing while their son slowly died. Now the family is suing the jail and its health care provider.
The family of Tyler Tabor says he was struggling with addiction. His parents did not bail him out of jail for a misdemeanor warrant, a $300 bond, because they thought jail would actually help.
His father, Ray Tabor, says he thought he would be safe in jail.
“I honestly thought the system would help people like that,” said Ray Tabor.
Lawyers say Tabor, 25, was put in a cell for inmates going through withdrawals, monitored by medical staff. Doctors say because Tabor was not improving from the opioid withdrawal, the medical staff should have seen it.
Dr. Michael Jobin, an emergency room physician, says Tabor was trying to bring attention to his medical problems, “But kept falling down to the point that the inmates in the room were trying to help him.”
The lawsuit claims Tabor complained for three days, even asked for an IV but the private medical provider – Corizon – did not help despite Tabor’s constant vomiting. His father says Tabor was only given Gatorade for the vomiting.
“They’re just letting people die in there,” says Tabor. “A $20 IV would have saved my son’s life. Now they’re spending millions on lawyers defending what they did wrong.”
Michele Mclane, Tabor’s mother, sobs as she told CBS4 that it was obvious from jail video that her son was having a hard time.
“He was struggling and they just overlook it,” said Tabor.
Attorney David Lane is representing the Tabor family. He says Corizon is notorious for getting sued around the country.
“Getting sued for millions and millions of dollars and ignoring and neglecting inmates,” said Lane.
The lawsuit states when a Corizon nurse was asked why they did nothing to help Tabor, she allegedly said, they don’t unless it’s an extreme case. The coroner’s report states Tyler Tabor died from dehydration.
The Adams County Jail will not comment on the death of Tabor, they say, because of the pending lawsuit.
Corizon released this statement to CBS4 News: “We are first and foremost a healthcare company. Our doctors, nurses and other frontline professionals are deeply affected by the death of a patient in their care, and our hearts go out to Mr. Tabor’s family for their loss. Heroin and opiate addiction is a national crisis facing our country that is destroying lives and families and inundating our criminal justice system. Corizon Health doctors, registered nurses and other clinical providers work consistently day after day to provide reasonable and appropriate care based on standards established by the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare and the circumstances presented to them.
“One of the most common misconceptions about our company and indeed our industry – is that we somehow benefit from providing lower quality care. On the contrary, what makes good medical sense and good business sense is providing preventive care and intervening early to treat conditions before they become more serious and costly to treat. Though we are limited by patient privacy laws and this legal action from discussing the specific circumstances of this case, the health care providers involved have a right to be defended based on the facts and not judged in the media before they have an opportunity to tell an impartial jury what happened. We trust all involved will have that opportunity as we intend to vigorously defend this case.”