Muskegon County settles case over inmate’s seizure death

Target 8

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A settlement has been reached in the lawsuit filed by the family of an inmate who died after suffering repeated seizures at the Muskegon County Jail, federal court records show.

Records from U.S. District Court show the county and the family of inmate Paul Bulthouse settled the lawsuit last week. Records don’t show a settlement amount.

Marcel Benevides, the attorney for Bulthouse, said he is not allowed to discuss the settlement. The attorney for the county, Allan VanderLaan, could not be reached for comment.

Sheriff Michael Poulin first announced that Bulthouse, 39, died a natural death on April 4, 2019, with no wrongdoing.

But a Target 8 investigation uncovered he had suffered 17 seizures that went ignored in a cell that required frequent observation. Surveillance video obtained by Target 8 showed a guard watching one of those seizures and walking away.

The family filed a multimillion-dollar federal lawsuit in March against the county, the sheriff, deputies and nurses from Wellpath, the private company that provides medical care.

Last month, the state Attorney General filed involuntary manslaughter charges against four guards and a jail nurse. The guards and nurse are expected in court in June to determine if they should face trial. If convicted, they could face up to 15 years in prison.

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