BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — The brother of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee who died while in custody at the Calhoun County jail has filed a lawsuit.
Jesse Dean died while awaiting deporation to the Bahamas on Feb. 5, 2021, just over a month after he arrived at the Calhoun County jail. The lawsuit alleges medical staff at the jail ignored his increasing pain levels and did not get him proper treatment.
Named in the lawsuit is the United States of America and Calhoun County. It also names Ashlei Packer, RN, Nathan Meyer, RN, Eir Pratt, LNP, Megan Greenlee, RN, Paul Troost, DO, John Doe and Jane Doe, who were all responsible for providing healthcare at the jail, and Jessica Godzieblewski, RN, the health services administrator at the jail. Also named is a Calhoun County employee with the last name of Fish.
Dean was brought to the Calhoun County jail, which houses detainees for ICE in Michigan, on Dec. 31, 2020. On Jan. 2, 2021, he said he was feeling pain in his abdomen, the lawsuit states.
Between Jan. 2 and Feb. 5, he complained about the pain at least 27 times, and submitted requests about his concerns at least 14 times, the lawsuit says. It says nurses at the jail, provided by Corizon Healthcare, gave him a liquid diet for four days and gave him pain medication once.
He lost 20 pounds over three weeks, and when he complained about not being able to eat, he was told to buy food from a vending machine or ask someone for a care package, the lawsuit states. He was not seen by a provider until Jan. 27, and lab results “pointed to a GI bleed,” the lawsuits states.
Concerns from correction officers and other detainees were ignored, the lawsuit claims.
After Dean’s sister contacted the Bahamian Consulate, a Calhoun County employee told the consulate that his conditions were “not threatening his life,” the lawsuit says.
He started to pass out on Feb. 2, and told staff the pain was making him dizzy, the lawsuit says. It says on the morning of Feb. 5, he was having difficulty standing up and had “critically low blood pressure,” but one of the nurses did not contact a provider.
“Mr. Dean was dying and she did nothing. Had she addressed these issues Mr. Dean would be alive today,” attorneys for his brother wrote.
Dean died around 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 5 of an untreated ulcer that eroded into one of his blood vessels, which caused a GI bleed, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit asks for a jury trial, compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney fees.