If you have information that you need or would like to share please call or email our office.
Contact Jesse Jacobs Lawyer U.A. Lewis
The Lewis Law Group, P.O. Box 27353, Houston, TX 77227
ESTATE OF JESSE C. JACOBS, JESSE R. JACOBS AND DIANE S. JACOBS Individually and HEIRS OF THE ESTATE OF JESSE C. JACOBS and Representative of the ESTATE OF JESSE C. JACOBS Plaintiffs,
GALVESTON COUNTY SHERIFF-HENRY TROCHESSET, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND GALVESTON COUNTY, AND JOHN DOE GALVESTON COUNTY JAILERS 1-20, IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES Defendants,
TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF SAID COURT:
NOW COMES Estate of Jesse C. Jacobs, Diane Jacobs, Jesse R. Jacobs, individually and heirs of the Estate of Jesse C. Jacobs as Wrongful Death Beneficiary and Survivors of Jesse R. Jacobs, Deceased and as Representative of the Estate of Jesse C. Jacobs, Decedent, Plaintiffs herein, complaining of Galveston County and Galveston County Sheriff, Henry Trochesset acting under in his individual capacity and for cause of action would respectfully shows as follows:
I. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
- This court has subject matter jurisdiction over claims brought under the Civil Rights Act of 1871 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 28 U.S.C § 1343 (3) and (4), and 29 U.S. C. § 1367 and American Disability Act. As Amended (ADAA) and The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
- Supplemental Jurisdiction over the state law claims is conferred by 28 U.S.C. §1367. An affidavit pursuant to Texas Rule Civ. Proc. 10(D)(2) is attached in support of the medical claims. Venue is proper in this Division. The jurisdiction of this court is invoked to secure protection of and to redress deprivation of rights secured by the U.S. Constitution under the Eight Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as made applicable to the States through the 14th Amendment, and by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and 42 U.S.C §1983 and § 1985 ensuring due process, and providing for the equal protection and rights of all persons in every state and territory within the jurisdiction of the United States.
- This Court has personal jurisdiction over parties because all of the parties reside or exist within the state of Texas.
- Venue properly lies in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas pursuant to the general venue statute 28 U.S. C. §1391(b)
II. SUMMARY OF THE CASE
- Jesse C. Jacobs was the thirty-two-year-old, only child, of Jesse R. Jacobs and Diane S. Jacobs. Jesse died as a result of the failure and refusal of Galveston County, Galveston County Sheriff, jailers John Doe 1-20 and healthcare to administer to Jesse his physician prescribed, non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, Benzodiazepine, Alprazolam medication, despite having being under a physician’s care for over a decade, with a prescription of the medication, and his body developing a physical dependence on, as clearly demonstrated by the severe withdrawal symptoms suffered by Jesse C. Jacobs.
- Along with the Defendants’ failure to provide Jesse C. Jacobs with adequate medical care, by administering his alprazolam medication, for severe panic disorder, which his body became physically dependent on, The Defendants failed to prevent, or reduce the severe withdrawal symptoms including: heavy sweating, disorientation, heart palpitations, nausea, panic, anxiety, elevated stroke level blood pressure, and terrible Grand Mal seizures. Jesse C. Jacobs suffered from withdrawal symptoms, as a result of the abrupt disruption of the, Benzodiazepine-Alprazolam medication that his body became physically dependent upon, and needed.
- After, the withdrawal symptoms began to heavily manifest, the Defendants failed to seek emergency medical services for Jesse C. Jacobs, or reassign his housing to the medical unit of the Galveston County Jail, K-Pod, but rather placed Jesse C. Jacobs in Solitary Confinement, FSP-Unit, where seven days later Jesse C. Jacobs was found, on the floor, unresponsive and without a pulse.
- The Galveston County, and Galveston County Sheriff required the detoxification protocol action against inmates entering the jail facility by intake personnel, on a basis and standard of just “know[ing] it,” or admission by an inmate that they are on a substance, as Jesse did, without regard as to whether using the substance legally by prescription or not.
III. NATURE OF THE CASE
- This is a wrongful death action brought by the Plaintiffs, who are the Father, Mother, and heirs of Jesse Jacobs. Pursuant to 42 U.S. C. §1983, and § 1985, they are seeking recovery and redress for violations of the constitutionally-protected civil rights of Jesse Jacobs, decedent.
- Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that Galveston County, Galveston County Sheriff Trochesset violated Jesse Jacob’s civil rights pursuant to the Eighth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, to receive proper medical care, and to receive adequate medical care, while incarcerated and under the custody and control of Galveston County, at the Galveston County Jail under the supervision and control of the Galveston County Sheriff, Galveston County John Doe Jailers 1-20 and Galveston County Jail’s Contracted Medical Providers.
IV. PARTIES AND SERVICE
- Jesse R. Jacobs and Diane Jacobs bring this suit individually and as heirs and representative of the Estate of Jesse C. Jacobs. Diane and Jesse R. Jacobs are the parents of Jesse C. Jacobs, their only child.
- Jesse C. Jacobs, the decedent, was at all times a citizen of the United States and died intestate. This lawsuit is brought by Jesse R. Jacobs as representative of the Estate of Jesse C. Jacobs pursuant to Texas Probate Code.
- Jesse died in Galveston County. Jesse R. Jacobs was appointed administrator of the Estate of Jesse C. Jacobs in August 2015. He brings this action both in his individual and fiduciary capacities.
- Plaintiff, Diane L. Jacobs, brings this wrongful-death action as the mother of Jesse C. Jacobs, decedent.
- Plaintiff, Jesse R. Jacobs, brings this wrongful-death action as the father of Jesse C. Jacobs , decedent and Representative of the Estate of Jesse
- Plaintiff, Estate of Jesse C. Jacobs brings this action on behalf of Jesse Jacobs, the decedent.
- Plaintiff, Heirs of Jesse C. Jacobs, brings this wrongful-death action as the heirs of Jesse C. Jacobs, decedent.
- Defendant, Sheriff Henry Trochesset is and was at all times relevant to this action the duly elected Sheriff of Galveston County Texas. He is employed by Galveston County as a Sheriff of the Galveston County Sheriff’s office.
- Sheriff Trochesset is sued in his individual capacity, acting under color of law. Sheriff Trochesset is a “person” under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and at all times relevant to this case acted under color of law.
- He is a county policy maker with respect to policies and procedures at the Galveston County Jail. He may be served with process at Galveston County Sheriff’s Office 601 54th Street Galveston, Texas 77551.
- Defendant, Galveston County is a unit of local government organized under the laws of the State of Texas. Defendant under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and at all times relevant to this case acted under color of law. Galveston County may be served with process by serving the County Judge of Galveston County, Mark Henry, at 722 Moody Avenue 21 Street, Galveston, Texas 77550.
- Defendant, Galveston County Jailers John Doe # 1-20 are employed by Galveston County as Jailers of the Galveston County. John Doe Jailers # 1-20 are sued in their “personal or individual capacity, acting under color of law.”
- They demonstrated deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of Jesse Jacobs and who will be served with process after they are identified.
V. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
- Jesse C. Jacobs’ background
- Jesse C. Jacobs was born in El Paso, Texas and was the only child of Diane and Jesse C. Jacobs, and the only grandchild in the Jacobs’ lineage. He is survived by each and every one of his grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
- Jesse C. Jacobs was a single male with many hopes and aspirations for his future, after ending a long term eight-year relationship. He was a recent graduate of the University of Houston main campus, earning his Bachelor’s degree, and was scheduled to start a new job after his release, creating computer applications.
- He had overcome setbacks due to his longtime battle with severe panic disorder and other medical conditions. Jesse C. Jacobs suffered from severe panic disorder, and depression, which are mental health issues.
- On February 10, 2015, Jesse C. Jacobs pled guilty to his second DWI in ten years, and agreed to serve a thirty (30) day sentence, in an effort to take personal responsibility for his actions, and move on with his life.
- It was likely that he would serve no more than twelve (12) days of his thirty (30) day sentence, due to jail credits, overcrowding, and good behavior. At the time of his sentencing, Jesse Jacobs was 32 years old. He was 5’10” tall and weighed approximately 250 pounds. He loved his parents, extended family, and friends; he had every intention of securing release from jail and resuming his family life and embarking on a new career awaiting him upon his release.
- On Friday, March 6, 2015, Jesse Jacobs entered the jail after sentencing and promptly informed intake that he was prescribed and had been taking the non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, Benzodiazepine, Alprazolam for over ten years for his severe panic disorder and anxiety. Jesse presented full bottles of his prescriptions, with pills and a letter from his treating physician, Dr. Don LaGrone, indicating it was “imperative” that he take the medications. (See Exhibit 1-Letter from Dr. LaGrone and Exhibit 2- prescriptions).
- An EMT indicated to Jesse Jacobs’ mother and legal representative he would not be given his prescribed non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, Benzodiazepine, Alprazolam, while in custody, upon presentation of the prescriptions, but he would check on it, and if Jesse C. Jacobs were able to receive his medication, he would receive it. The prescriptions were collected and inventoried by Galveston County Jail staff EMT. (See Exhibit 3- Galveston County Jail Intake Medical Inventory receipt).
- There is no disagreement that Jesse was denied the, non-narcotic, Alprazolam medication, which he’d been taking for over a decade to treat a severe anxiety disorder. That along with treating his severe anxiety disorder, his body had become physically dependent upon the medication. According to the jail medical records, Jacobs suffered his first documented seizure after his fourth day in custody, Tuesday March 10, 2015 at 16:00 (4:00pm).
- Jesse Jacobs’ primary doctor, Dr. Don LaGrone, and Jesse Jacobs himself, indicated that Jesse had no history of seizures. Sudden cessation of Alprazolam is highly dangerous, and was widely known at the time to lead to seizures, and many other dangerous side effects. At the time Jesse C. Jacobs was denied his medication it the risk of harm was well known and accepted that if a patient has been on the, non-narcotic, Alprazolam for an extended period of time and the DEA schedule IV, Alprazolam medication is discontinued, then the patient is subject to physical dependence, severe withdrawal symptoms including diaphoretic, disorientation, palpitations, nausea, panic, anxiety, and terrible seizures, and death.
- These known and foreseeable symptoms are routinely avoided by tapering the patient off of the medication, under close physician supervision, preferably in a hospital setting. Each of the above detailed symptoms were documented symptoms that Jesse suffered, leading to his death.
- Jesse was never tapered off of the non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV Benzodiazepine-Alprazolam medication, but abruptly discontinued from his Alprazolam medication; nor, was he placed on a substitute for the benzodiazepine, until his sixth day in custody, Librium, which failed to be administered as prescribed, and the substitute prescription failed to reduce his withdrawal symptoms.
- Further he was left alone, in solitary confinement, without close physician or medical supervision.
- The physicians, health care providers, Galveston County Sheriff, and Jailers, acting on behalf of Galveston county, made the decision to terminate Jesse Jacobs’s non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV Benzodiazepine Alprazolam medication regimen without any tapering, or contacting his primary physician, Dr. LaGrone, and failed to prevent, properly recognize, or properly treat his Benzodiazepine Alprazolam withdrawals symptoms resulting in the medical crisis, including failing to adequately respond to the four known and documented seizures that Jacobs had in the Galveston County Jail, but instead assaulted Jacobs, with ammonia caps, to make sure he was not faking first, then after determining the seizure was not a pseudo-seizure, but a genuine, true, Grand Mal seizure, Jacobs was then treated with Gatorade, and water.
- While in the custody, care and control of the Galveston County Jail, Jesse C. Jacobs suffered profuse sweating, disorientation, palpitations, nausea, panic, anxiety, and at least four, if not more, terrible seizures day after day without ever receiving any emergency medical attention, although suffering from severe vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms, along with the seizures, until his seventh and final day in the Galveston County Jail, when he was found on the floor of his solitary confinement FSP jail cell unresponsive, drooling, without a pulse, surrounded by his own feces.
- Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was summoned for the first time Jesse was then taken to The University of Texas-Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston hospital. When he arrived his prognosis was “grim,” he was critically ill, and he was pronounced dead the next day. He was described as a patient that “abused Xanax” to the Hospital, upon admittance. (See Exhibit 5- UTMB Medical Records).
- Galveston Sherriff Trochesset claimed Jesse’s death was due to “natural causes,” and the In Custody Jail Death Report (See Exhibit 14 –In Jail Custody Death report).
- The Galveston County Medical Examiner determined Jesse Jacobs’ cause of death to be “abrupt discontinuation of long term Alprazolam medication”. ( See Exhibit 7-Death Certificate).
- Jesse Jacobs died, because: (1) the Galveston jail medical staff refused to administer his legally prescribed non-narcotic medication, (2) Galveston jail medical staff failed to treat him for four or more seizures, (3) Galveston jail staff ignored his medical complaints, (4) failed to medically monitor him in accordance with Texas Jail Standards, (5) intentionally failed to provide medical treatment to him after abruptly discontinuing his long term four milligram dose of Alprazolam, and (6) had wanton disregard, and deliberate indifference for Jesse C. Jacobs’ serious medical needs, by delaying medically necessary emergency medical treatment after Jacobs’ first, second, third, or fourth or more seizures, resulting in Jesse C. Jacobs’ death.
- And there are no medical records of sick calls request, examinations, diagnoses, treatment or medications prescribed to Jesse to rebut these allegations. (See Exhibit 5- Galveston County Jail Medical Records of Jesse Jacobs)
- His surviving parents and heirs, Jesse R. Jacobs and Diane Lynn Jacobs, and the Estate of Jesse C. Jacobs bring this action seeking fair compensation, appropriate training with the hope that they can prevent other inmates and prisoners at the Galveston County Jail from suffering similar excruciating injuries and/or death, and acknowledgment from the Sheriff that their son died as a result of the Galveston County, Galveston County jail, Galveston County Sheriff’s decision making, and policies.
- Conditions at Galveston County Jail
- On March 6, 2015, Galveston County Judge, John Grady, sentenced Jesse C. Jacobs to thirty (30) days in jail, and he immediately entered the Galveston County Jail, in Galveston, Texas.
- Upon intake, Jesse C. Jacobs was booked and moved to the medical intake department of the jail and his medical intake interview was conducted by an Emergency Medical Technician named Joe Lloreda.
- Jesse C. Jacobs promptly made Lloreda aware, at intake, that he had prescriptions. Prescriptions he had filled at his regular pharmacy, along with a letter from his primary physician, Dr. LaGrone, advising the jail staff of his ten-year prescription regimen and the fact that it was imperative that Jesse continue to take his non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, Benzodiazepine, Alprazolam and other prescriptions.
- Lloreda received, and inventoried the instructions, prescriptions, and pills. The instructions from Dr. La Grone were placed in Jesse Jacobs’ jail medical record file.
- Lloreda advised Jesse C. Jacobs, his Mother Diane, and legal representative that Jesse would not be given his non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, Benzodiazepine- Alprazolam, while he was in the Galveston jail, because jail policy prohibits inmates from receiving Alprazolam, but he would accept the medication and if Jesse is approved to receive the Benzodiazepine-Alprazolam he would get it.
- Jesse called home the evening he turned himself in, and advised his mother he was not being given his medication. Diane Jacobs called the jail notifying them that he needed his medication. In fact, Galveston County Chief Deputy of Correction Mary Johnson told the media, regarding Jesse C. Jacobs death, “I do know some psych drugs and stuff they don’t allow, some they won’t prescribe.”
- The Galveston County jail was cited six years ago for not dispensing medications ordered by a doctor. The Galveston County EMT immediately placed Jesse Jacobs on a benzodiazepine detoxification protocol, without first contacting Jacob’s prescribing primary care physician, Dr. Don LaGrone, Jesse’s physician for over ten years, any other of Jesse Jacobs treating physicians, or any physicians at all.
- On March 6, 2015, Jesse C. Jacobs began his sentence in general population, B-3 Pod, a unit for inmates that are usually older, or non-threatening. Medical records indicate that Dr. Harry Faust, Jr. was the first of the three jail physicians to treat Jesse Jacobs during his incarceration in the Galveston Jail.
- Harry J. Faust Jr. is a physician, and pharmacist that has been disciplined by the Texas Medical Board for instructing a former patient of his, who had been on a benzodiazepine for eight years to cease taking benzodiazepines, without adequate documentation to support the sudden cessation of this course of medication, just as he directed and encouraged the continuation of Jesse C. Jacobs sudden cessation of non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, Benzodiazepine-Alprazolam. (See Exhibit 11-Faust Suspension orders)
- Jesse C. Jacobs remained in general population B-3 Pod for four days until March 10, 2015. On March 10, 2015, Jesse had a seizure in the Galveston County Jail. He was not transported to a hospital for emergency medical treatment and care, he remained in the general population unit.
- After Jesse had his second seizure, he was found lying on the floor of the B-3 unit, drooling. Jesse was questioned if he had ever suffered a seizure before and he made them aware that he had not, yet Jesse still was not transported by Galveston County, Galveston County Sheriff or any medical personnel to a hospital for emergency medical care and treatment.
- Later that same day, for some unknown reason Jesse C. Jacobs’s clothes were taken from him and he was moved to full suicide protocol (FSP), also known as solitary confinement, “the hole,” or “butt naked,” instead of to a hospital. The temperature in the room was cold. Jesse was not rehoused to FSP because he was suicidal or due to suicide concerns.
- Full suicide protocol (FSP) is a room without a toilet, sink, or shower, but only a drain in the floor of the room. FSP is often used for punitive purposes against unruly inmates, who leave insignias of their fury for being in FSP in the form of blood, feces, and urine, melted into the walls of FSP.
- Jesse C. Jacobs was moved to solitary confinement (FSP) between March 10, 2015 and March 11, 2015. Jesse began suffering additional Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms of diarrhea, diaphoretic (heavy sweating), he was responding verbally to questions, and was alert but confused, his pupils were dilated, along with the seizures that resulted in his tongue being bitten through and heavy bleeding. Jesse was left in this FSP cell with only a mattress, and a smock.
- Galveston County jail does not have an infirmary unit to provide medical care and treatment for its inmates, as is customary. In fact the Texas Administrative Code § 260.126 provides: “an infirmary should be provided for facilities of 200 or more capacity”. Galveston County has a capacity of 200 or more. Section §273.1 requires: “The owner/operator of each facility shall provide medical, mental, and dental services in accordance with the approved health services plan. These services may include, but shall not be limited to, the services of a licensed physician, professional and allied health personnel, hospital or similar services.”
- Jesse Jacobs did not receive emergency medical services, care, or treatment from Galveston County, Galveston’s Sheriff Office, Galveston Jailers John Doe 1-20 or EMT from March 6, 2015 until he was found unresponsive without a pulse.
- On March 13, 2015, Jesse Jacobs was found unresponsive in his jail cell, nude, with his mattress covered in fecal matter as a result of his diarrhea, one of his withdrawal symptoms.
- Texas Administrative Code Rule §275.1, requires Regular Observation be performed at least every 30 minutes in areas where inmates known to be assaultive, potentially suicidal, mentally ill, or who have demonstrated bizarre behavior while confined. There shall be a two-way voice communication capability between inmates and jailers, licensed peace officers, bailiffs, and designated staff at all times, and closed circuit television may not be used in lieu of the required personal observation.
- Jesse was not, but should have been supervised face to face every thirty minutes by the jailers, licensed peace officers, bailiffs, or designated staff, as a result of his known and documented mental health status, and at least once an hour by jail medical personnel due to his benzodiazepine detoxification orders; however, medical records indicate that Jacobs was left unsupervised for more than 6 hours at times.
- On April 21 and April 22, 2015 a little over a month after Jesse C. Jacobs’s death, Galveston County Jail was inspected by the Commission for Jail Standards and according to the Inspection Requirement Review the Galveston County Jail was provided with “technical assistance,” as a result. That report, showed the jail failed to comply with the jail standards for supervision of inmates. (See Exhibit 8, Jail Standards Report)
- Jesse C. Jacobs’s Prescription Medication
- Jesse C. Jacobs, as mentioned above, had been legally prescribed the non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, Benzodiazepine, Alprazolam by his physician, Dr. Don LaGrone, a duly licensed well respected psychiatrist, to treat his severe panic disorder for over a decade, leading up to Jesse C. Jacobs’ 30-day sentence. Jesse C. Jacobs was prescribed two milligrams of Alprazolam to be taken three times daily, and one milligram in time release form.
- Not wanting his medication to be a problem for anyone, Jesse came to jail prepared. He and his well renowned psychiatrist of over ten years, Dr. Don LaGrone successfully managed his severe anxiety with a careful balance of medications, including the benzodiazepine, Alprazolam.
- When Jacobs reported for his sentence, Jesse made the medical intake personnel aware that he was under a psychiatrist’s care and prescribed Alprazolam for his panic disorder and anxiety. Jesse provided the physical paper prescription, a filled prescription with pills in the bottle, and a letter from his physician, psychiatrist. The medication was inventoried and the medication bottle was documented to contain 60 prescribed 1mg Alprazolam extended pills, and 90 prescribed 2mg Alprazolam pills, the written prescription, and a letter from his prescribing Physician. (See Exhibit 2-Alprazolam Prescriptions)
- Jesse C. Jacobs’s Experience at the Galveston County Jail
- Although, Jesse brought his prescribed Alprazolam medication, with him to the Jail. Joe Lloreda an EMT the person who conducted Jacobs’ intake medical screening entered a written statement that the jail was unable to verify his prescriptions for Alprazolam, as well as, other medications for chronic conditions like high blood pressure despite these preparations, and information. (See Exhibit 4 –Jail Intake Forms)
- Instead of contacting any of his physicians, or the pharmacy, to verify the prescriptions, or contacting the jail facility physician or allowing Jesse Jacobs to continue his medication, the jail medical notes and records indicate that each Galveston County staff and Galveston County medical intake personnel instituted detoxification protocol, but instead held the medications locked away in the jail facility.
- After the detoxification protocol was commenced by the EMT following the Galveston County’s encouraged policy and custom, Galveston County medical personnel, Galveston County Jailers, John Doe 1-20, jail staff, and Galveston Sheriff agents that came into contact with Jesse continued to refuse Jesse Jacobs his prescribed medications.
- Within hours of the detoxification protocol, Jacobs began manifesting symptoms of acute benzodiazepine physical withdrawal symptoms and his blood pressure soared. (See Exhibit 5 – Galveston County Jail Medical Records)
- At no time from the moment Jacobs entered the Jail until his death eight days later did Defendants, Galveston County its agents, employees or representatives provide Jacobs any of his prescribed Alprazolam medication.
- On March 06, 2015 at approximately 11:55am, E.M.T. Joe Lloreda completed Jesse C. Jacobs’s Mental Health Screening/Referral Form. He noted the prescription for Alprazolam, and noted that he took two milligrams three times a day, but immediately placed Jesse on a detoxification protocol.
- On March 11, 2015, Joe Lloreda, and Doe Williams filled out a medical authorization for the release of Jesse C. Jacobs’ medical records and Jacobs signed the release. The release requested “Diagnosis, Medication and Treatment records, Discharge Summary.” The Release was faxed the next day to “Dr. Tracy Miller, and Dr. Ira Flax. The medical authorization was not faxed to the office of Jacobs’s primary mental health care physician for the panic disorder and prescriber of the Alprazolam, Dr. LaGrone, his psychiatrist.
- On March 06, 2015, it was well known that abruptly discontinuing any benzodiazepines including Alprazolam could lead to severe, painful and terrifying withdrawal symptoms, including death.
- This is not the first instance that the Galveston County Jail has refused to administer the non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, Benzodiazepine-Alprazolam, it is the Jail’s custom and practice to initiate immediate detoxification, and discontinue an inmate’s use of the non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, Benzodiazepine, and it continues to be its directed and encouraged policy and custom in Galveston County, as recent as the time of the filing of this complaint.
- It was also known that discontinuation of the non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, Benzodiazepine, Alprazolam for long term users cannot be safely, unless the medication was tapered off in a slow and deliberate fashion, and it is best that the patient be closely monitored by a physician, preferably in a hospital setting.
- Neither Dr. McNeel, Dr. Faust, Dr. Becker, nor Nurse Practitioner, Josie Irogbu took any further action to verify Jesse’s prescription for Alprazolam, nor seek his medical records. At all times relevant to this action the Defendants possessed the actual Alprazolam pills in Jacobs’s prescription bottle, in the jail, but they did not act to provide Jesse any of his duly prescribed medication that his body had become physically dependent upon and need for his severe panic disorder.
- As early as Tuesday March 10, 2015, based on medical records, Teresa M. Becker reviewed the medical intake records regarding Jesse Jacobs that had been prepared by Joe Lloreda, E.M.T., and knew or should have been aware of Jesse’s long term use of Alprazolam, since there was a letter, and prescriptions, included in the records from Jesse’s psychiatrist, Dr. Don LaGrone explaining that Jesse was a patient of his for over 10 years, and stressing the importance that Jesse take his medication, which went ignored by Dr. Becker. (See Exhibit 5- Galveston County Jail Medical records)
- From March 11, 2015 until Jesse’s death on March 14, 2015, neither. Lloreda, Dr. Becker, Dr. Faust, Dr. McNeel, nor any others diagnosed Jesse as a person at risk of Alprazolam severe withdrawal complications, based on his physical dependence on the medication after being on the prescribed medication for a long term period.
- Further, they failed to advise or the officers, deputies, and medical staff interacting with Jacobs to be alert to signs and symptoms of Alprazolam withdrawal and supervise.
- None of the jail doctors documented the medical necessity to continue the Alprazolam.
- Between March 06, 2014 until Jacobs’s death on March 14, 2015, Dr. McNeel, Dr. Faust, Dr. Becker, NP Josie Irogbu all failed to take any measures to taper the Alprazolam medication and avoid the foreseeable withdrawal symptoms experienced by Jesse as a result of his physical dependence and his body’s need for the medication. Due to the physical withdrawals, Jesse also became sleep-deprived, exacerbating his pre-existing medical conditions, including documented high blood pressure reading reaching stroke levels of 158 /118.
- Soon after he arrived at the Jail, Jesse began to deteriorate physically. The seizures, and sweating profusely and racing heartbeat suffered by Jesse were foreseeable as a known symptoms of Alprazolam withdrawal for medical professionals and the Galveston County Jail.
- Jesse was experiencing withdrawal symptoms and asked for his Alprazolam medication, but his request was denied. Each medical professional failed to personally check Jacobs’ medical record history with his primary care physicians. They ignored Jacobs’ excessively concerning vital signs. They failed to perform a mental status exam, or take any other reasonable action to investigate the medical status of Jacobs.
- On March 8, at 12:53am, Dr. Harry Faust, one of the psychiatrist, prescribed propranolol (inderal) 20mg 1 tablet daily-x 90 days venlafaxine tablet (effexor) 37.5-take 1 tablet twice daily for 90 days. The entry for these prescriptions were made by a jail nurse, Sandra Harden, R.N. (See Exhibit 10- Faust Prescriptions) Records that accompany that prescription state his condition to be NKD, and that he had no known allergies. The signature Dr. Faust seems to be signed on March 6, 2015 23:53, but the prescription was entered 3/7/15 12:54 AM, which other entry dates of 3/8/15 12:54am for propranolol (inderal) 20mg 1 tablet daily-x 90 days and entry date 3/8/15 12:53am for the venlafaxine tablet (effexor) 37.5-take 1 tablet twice daily for 90 days, we are left to assume that Dr. Faust was at the jail in person to generate this signature every late in the evening at and after midnight. The videos requested will clarify these confusing facts.
- There was no documentation in Jesse’s medical records indicating why Dr. Harry Faust, one of the psychiatrist, prescribed propranolol (inderal) 20mg or venlafaxine tablets (effexor) 37.5 mg., what condition the prescriptions were to treat, or the basis for the need of the new prescriptions.
- Jesse continued experiencing complications from the discontinuation of the Alprazolam, severe panic disorder, anxiety, and physical dependence. Two days after starting the new prescriptions issued by Dr. Harry Faust, propranolol (inderal), and venlafaxine (effexor) Jesse experienced his first seizure in his life, a grand mal seizure.
- Faust failed to follow-up with his patient or medically monitor him after prescribing new medications. Further, Dr. Faust failed to instruct a follow-up from another physician. Each Benzodiazepine withdrawal scale for corrections form completed by Galveston County medical personnel indicated that Jesse was getting along just fine, indicating an average level. (See Exhibit 12- Benzodiazepine withdrawal scale for corrections form)
- Jesse C. Jacobs’s Deadly Medical Crisis
- Jesse did not receive his prescription Alprazolam medication, or any substitute benzodiazepine to assist in reducing the possibility of Jesse lapsing into acute Alprazolam withdrawal syndrome, after being on the medication for ten years, and likely to physically dependent upon the medication, even if the prescription was found to be an option call, regarding the need for the treatment of his severe panic disorder.
- Jesse suffered documented racing heartbeats, stroke level blood pressure, tremors, vomiting, sweating profusely, diarrhea and seizures (it is likely he also suffered from hallucinations, and delusions as well).
- Deborah Wiggins, a Registered Nurse, worked overnight and Officer J.W. Hogan arrived for duty on the morning of March 13, 2015. Nurse, Deborah Wiggins is also responsible for ensuring that inmates who are newly admitted to the FSP unit are interviewed, and those that are in FSP are monitored.
- On March 13, 2015, after Deputy Hogan arrived, Jesse was found unresponsive without a pulse in his solitary confinement cell. Although the medical records state Jesse was drooling, and was observed through glass lying on his left side, face down, experiencing deep respirations, and was not responding to verbal commands.
- Before CPR emergency services were performed or a call was made to 911, for emergency services, Deborah Wiggins, left Jesse Jacobs to returned to the clinic, to retrieve ammonia caps, in an effort to confirm Jesse Jacobs was not faking. She summonsed another nurse, Monica McCray, L.V.N. that also worked overnight to return with her to Jesse C. Jacobs’ cell.
- Deborah Wiggins eventually instructed Sheriff Deputy Hogan to call 911 and she finally began compressions. Monica McCray L.V.N. brought a crash cart, an automatic defibrillation and attached it to Jesse C. Jacobs. Rhythm noted to be asystole (no pulse), no shock administered, chest compressions and bagging utilizing chin tilt, rhythm again was analyzed, but no shock.
- The Emergency team was summoned after the 911 call arrived and performed CPR for an extended period of time, about one hour, and was able to regain a pulse, after Jesse C. Jacobs, was down for possibly as long as an hour according to the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Hospital medical records. (See Exhibit 6-UTMB Medical Records)
- Not one medical staff member, nor Galveston County personal properly treated Jesse C. Jacobs’s Alprazolam withdrawal even when his symptoms were apparent, by failing to administer regular mental status exams, while Jacobs was under the detoxification protocol in the FSP unit.
- Galveston County and Galveston County Jail medical staff members failed to adequately interview, access, or review Jacobs’ medical records. The Jail medical staff members failed to administer proper mental health or physical evaluations. The Jail medical staff members failed to supervise and regularly check Jacobs’s vital signs when he was under the detoxification protocol in the FSP unit. The Jail medical staff members failed to adequately review Jacobs’s chart or medical history, despite the fact that Jacobs had been under the detoxification protocol in the FSP unit suffering with seizures.
- The nurse practitioner, nurses and other medical staff members also failed to properly monitor Jesse C. Jacobs. Despite Jesse C. Jacobs’s distress, not one of the Jail medical staff members consulted any of Jesse C. Jacobs’s primary treating physicians or seek his medical history and never conducted a mental health status exam, or send Jesse to the Hospital.
- While under the detoxification protocol in the FSP- solitary confinement cell, Jesse was locked in his solitary confinement cell and was away from the other inmates and unable to make phone calls, use the showers, or toilet without a jailer’s consent.
- Once housed in the solitary confinement cell Jesse continued to suffer from severe, classic, and terrifying withdrawal symptoms for the next three days of his life. He was never seen by a psychiatrist during this time, while he was in the FSP solitary confinement cell. The Jail, and its medical staff members withheld the Alprazolam prescription pills from Jesse and failed to ever contact Dr. LaGrone and failed to timely contact Jesse other primary physicians, before commencing the cessation of the lawfully prescribed Alprazolam.
- The Jail, and its medical staff members were responsible for providing assessment and diagnosis of psychiatric disorders at the Jail, and was responsible for the mental health care of Jesse C. Jacobs. the Jail, and its medical staff members failed to properly diagnose or treat Jesse C. Jacobs’s Alprazolam withdrawal
- On March 10, 2015, Jesse was housed in the general population B-3 unit, Jesse advised the medical staff that he was feeling bad again, stated his heart was pounding, his blood pressure reading was 180/120, a normal blood pressure reading is 120/80, and his was Diaphoretic, he was anxious, confused from the detoxing from Alprazolam and his blood pressure continued to rise as high as 195/119.
- At approximately 2:00 pm, on March 10, 2015, Jesse was housed in the General Population, B-3 unit, Jesse suffered his first known seizure. Jesse was found with a bloody face, on the floor, and was first assaulted with ammonia smelling salts to determine if he was faking his seizure, after his seizure was confirmed he was given Gatorade, and water, then was left on the floor.
- At approximately 10:00am, on March 11, 2015, Jesse while housed in the B-3 general population unit, Jesse suffered his second documented seizure. Jesse was found lying on the floor on his side with so much blood covering his face that initially the origination point was unclear, it was determined he had bit his tongue during a seizure. He advised the jail and medical staff at that time he did not have a history of seizures before incarceration, in the “free world.” Jesse only knew who he was, but was not oriented to where he was or the date, according to the Jesse C. Jacobs’ jail inmate records.
- At approximately 4:00 pm, on March 11, 2015, Jesse was re-housed in FSP- solitary confinement cell unit, where Jesse suffered his third documented seizure. Jesse was found lying on his side and observed with rapid, snoring respirations. He again was assaulted with ammonia caps, and a firm sternal rub was performed, to be certain that he was not faking a seizure. Since Jesse did not respond to the ammonia cap assault, or sternal rub, the physician was notified.
- Jesse was finally seen by a physician, Dr. Becker, and at that time she reviewed his records, which included copies of his prescriptions and a letter from his psychiatrist, but Dr. Becker encouraged the discontinuation of his Alprazolam medication. She did not contact his long time treating physician. She contacted another psychiatrist, Linea McNeel, who recommended Jesse start Librium protocol for seizures due to Alprazolam withdrawals.
- After receiving the Librium prescriptions, Jesse’s seizures continued, and at approximately 11:25 pm, on March 12, 2015, Jesse suffered his fourth and last documented seizure.
- At approximately 6:10 am, on March 13, 2015, while Jesse remained housed in the FSP solitary confinement cell unit, Jesse was found unresponsive in his cell, without a pulse, when it is believed he suffered his final seizure, although undocumented, and he went into cardiac arrest. As a direct and proximate result of the acts and omissions set forth herein, Jesse died.
- Prior to death, Jesse endured extended pre-death agony, seizures, pain within his body and horrifying mental anguish. The Galveston Coroner’s Report was amended from natural causes “seizure disorder” as the cause of death, to Abrupt discontinuation of long term Alprazolam medication, on September 8, 2015 (see Exhibit 7-Death Certificate/ Autopsy/Toxicology Report)
- Policies, Practices and Culpable Conduct
- The risk of withdrawal syndrome in Alprazolam users was well known in jails on March 06, 2015. Sheriff Trochesset, and Galveston County, directed the Jail staff, and its medical staff members to follow policies, practices, customs and usages which caused prisoners to suffer, untreated, serious symptoms as a result of the termination of their benzodiazepine medications. Such policies are the moving force behind and caused the injuries suffered by Jesse Jacobs in this case. By following such policies Defendants were deliberately indifferent to the serious medical need of Jesse C. Jacobs.
- Henry Trochesset, Galveston County Sheriff, Galveston County Sheriff’s office, Galveston County Jail, and any John Doe policy makers were also deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of Jesse C. Jacobs by failing to train staff and implement jail policies, practices, customs and usages that adequately addressed the obvious and known health and safety risks to inmates entering the Jail while taking prescribed medications in the class of benzodiazepines; and the likelihood that a person would go into withdrawal, after a physical dependence to the medication occurs, and without proper medical treatment being available.
- Henry Trochesset, Galveston County Sheriff, Galveston County Sheriff’s office, Galveston County Jail, and any John Doe policy makers acted negligently, recklessly, wantonly, willfully, knowingly, intentionally and with deliberate indifference to the serious medical need of Jesse C. Jacobs, when Jesse began demonstrating severe withdrawal symptoms as a result of the abrupt cessation of the long term Benzodiazepine, Alprazolam, to which Jesse had developed a physical dependence, and needed for his severe panic disorder and anxiety.
- As a direct and proximate result of the defendant’s actions, before his death Jesse suffered severe emotional distress, pain, suffering, and extreme and horrifying mental distress.
- As a further direct and proximate result of Jesse C. Jacobs’s wrongful death Jesse C. Jacobs, his survivors and/or heirs have suffered permanent damages, including but not limited to, the loss of his support, services, and society, including loss of companionship, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, and education, as well as the loss of prospective inheritance.
- As a further direct and proximate result of Jesse C. Jacobs’s wrongful death Jesse C. Jacobs’s survivors, next of kin and/or heirs have suffered permanent damages, including, but not limited to, grief, depression, and severe emotional distress. They have incurred funeral bills, and medical bills and treatment.
- Defendant’s violations of Jesse C. Jacob’s constitutional rights resulted from a policy, pattern, custom and/or practice of deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of inmates at the direction and encouragement of the policymakers.
- Plaintiffs assert that the death of Jesse C. Jacobs was the result of Defendants Henry Trochesset, Galveston County Sheriff, Galveston County Sheriff’s office, and Galveston County Jail, Doe actors, and Doe Policy makers, jointly and severally, that the death and harm suffered was the result of Defendants’ conduct motivated by evil intent, or done recklessly or with callous indifference to the federally protected rights of Jesse C. Jacobs, and further attempted to impede discovery of the constitutional violations by Withholding of Records.
- Withholding of Records
- In addition to the civil rights violations, Defendant Galveston County has blocked and refused the release of Jesse Jacob’s video of his entire period of incarceration in the Galveston County Jail, the full and complete set of medical records of Jesse Jacobs in the Galveston County Jail, the audio and video recordings of his parents visits. The requests were made properly, a Public Information Act request (formally open records request), pursuant to Public Information Act – Texas Government Code, Chapter 552, and with the required Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) release authorizations were provided; however, it is clear that the medical records are not complete, or portions of the records are missing. All other requests are being denied.
VII. CLAIMS FOR RELIEF
FIRST CLAIM – 42 U.S.C. §1983
SHERIFF TROCHESSET AND GALVESTON COUNTY AND GALVESTON COUNTY JAILERS JOHN DOE 1-20, DEPRIVED JESSE C. JACOBS OF RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES SECURED BY THE FOURTEENTH AND EIGHTH AMENDMENTS
- Plaintiffs incorporate by reference all of the preceding paragraphs. Henry Trochesset, Galveston County Sheriff, Galveston County Sheriff’s office, Galveston County and any John Doe jailers and policy makers have, acted under color of state law.
- Defendant, Galveston County Sherriff Trochesset
- Acting in his individual capacity, Sheriff Trochesset directed and encouraged the “detoxing of inmates” on any Alprazolam regimen.
- He discouraged jail and medical staff from initiating emergency calls to 911 for inmates with serious medical needs to be transported to the hospital, despite the jail facility not having an infirmary.
- Sherriff Trochesset sanctioned, approved, directed, encouraged, and knowingly consented to the unconstitutional conduct including the deprivation of non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, Benzodiazepine, Alprazolam regimen by the lower level employees, and contractors specifically stated in Paragraph II and IV above.
- Sheriff Trochesset had direct involvement in the decisions regarding inmate housing, medical care, and policies. He made no provisions for inmates that he required to be placed on detoxification protocol, although Sheriff Trochesset knew and it was reasonably foreseeable that these inmates would likely suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms, requiring medical attention, would be a foreseeable result, for inmates that had developed a physical dependence on the medication or other substances that the sheriff deemed detoxification was necessary.
- Defendant, Galveston County
- Galveston County is a unit of local government organized under the laws of the State of Texas. Defendant is a “person” under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and at all times relevant to this case acted under color of law.
- a unit of local government directed and encouraged the “detoxing of inmates” on any Alprazolam regimen.
- It discouraged jail and medical staff from initiating emergency calls to 911 for inmates with serious medical needs to be transported to the hospital, despite the jail facility not having an infirmary.
- It sanctioned, approved, directed, encouraged, and knowingly consented to the unconstitutional conduct including the deprivation of non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, Benzodiazepine, Alprazolam regimen by the lower level employees, and contractors specifically stated in Paragraph II and IV above.
- It had direct involvement in the decisions regarding inmate housing, medical care, and policies. It made no provisions for inmates that he required to be placed on detoxification protocol, although it’s administrators, and policy makers directing and encouraging benzodiazepine detoxification protocol knew and it was reasonably foreseeable that these inmates would likely suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms, requiring medical attention, and it would be a foreseeable result, for inmates that had developed a physical dependence on the a benzodiazepine medication or any other substances that the sheriff deemed detoxification was necessary.
- Defendant, Galveston County Jailers John Doe # 1-20
- Defendant, Galveston County Jailers John Doe # 1-20 are employed by Galveston County as Jailers of the Galveston County. John Doe Jailers # 1-20 are sued in their “personal or individual capacity, acting under color of law.” Each jailer individually, in combination, and collectively demonstrated deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of Jesse Jacobs.1983 and at all times relevant to this case acted under color of law.
- Each jailer individually, in combination, and collectively directed and encouraged the “detoxing of inmates” on any Alprazolam regimen.
- Each jailer individually, in combination, and collectively discouraged other jail and medical staff from initiating emergency calls to 911 for inmates with serious medical needs to be transported to the hospital, despite the jail facility not having an infirmary.
- Each jailer individually, in combination, and collectively sanctioned, approved, directed, encouraged, and knowingly consented to the unconstitutional conduct including the deprivation of non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, Benzodiazepine, Alprazolam regimen by the lower level employees, and contractors specifically stated in Paragraph II and IV above.
- Each jailer individually, in combination, and collectively had direct involvement in the decisions regarding inmate housing, medical care, and policies. It made no provisions for inmates that he required to be placed on detoxification protocol, although it’s administrators, and policy makers directing and encouraging benzodiazepine detoxification protocol knew and it was reasonably foreseeable that these inmates would likely suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms, requiring medical attention, and it would be a foreseeable result, for inmates that had developed a physical dependence on the a benzodiazepine medication or any other substances that the sheriff deemed detoxification was necessary.
- As specifically stated in paragraph II and V above Galveston County Sheriff Trochesset and Galveston County and Galveston County Jailers John Doe 1-20, individually, and collectively deprived Jesse C. Jacobs of rights, privileges and immunities secured by the Fourteenth and Eighth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution including, but not limited to the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, the right to be protected, and the right to adequate medical care when incarcerated.
- Sheriff Henry Trochesset, Galveston County, Galveston County Jail, and any John Doe policy makers failed to adequately train and supervise the Jail corrections officers, medical personnel, and staff at the intake, assessment and correctional and medical care of inmates who arrive at the jail while taking prescription drugs in the non-narcotic, DEA Schedule IV, benzodiazepine class, including Jesse C. Jacobs’ Alprazolam prescription.
- The rules, regulations, customs, policies and procedures of Galveston County Jail and Sheriff Henry Trochesset were inadequate and unreasonable and were the moving force behind the constitutional deprivations suffered by Jesse C. Jacobs.
- Although the policymakers were on notice of the obvious need to train and supervise Jail staff in the area of day to day Jail operations, policies and procedures relating to medical and mental health assessment and follow up care of inmates, Sheriff Henry Trochesset, Galveston County, Galveston County Jail, and any John Doe policy makers failed to adequately train and supervise the individual Jail staff in that regard.
- The policy makers failed to develop and institute adequate reality based training programs relating to the incarceration, care and treatment of individuals such as Jesse who had pre-existing medical conditions. As such, Sheriff Henry Trochesset, Galveston County, Galveston County Jail, and any John Doe policy makers were deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of Jesse C. Jacobs.
- The policy makers developed and instituted a policy against proper care and treatment of individuals with Alprazolam dependency, not addiction, such as Jesse C. Jacobs, who had pre-existing medical need and condition. As such, Sheriff Henry Trochesset, Galveston County, Galveston County Jail, John Doe jailers and any John Doe policy makers were deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of Jesse C. Jacobs.
SECOND CLAIM-VIOLATION OF ARTICLE ONE SECTION THIRTEEN OF THE TEXAS CONSTITUTION.
- Plaintiffs incorporates by reference all of the preceding paragraphs. Defendants were acting under color of state law; the defendants are liable under as well as, violation of Article One Section Thirteen of the Texas Constitution that cruel or unusual punishment shall not be inflicted.
- The Defendants are liable under Article One Section Thirteen of The Texas Constitution that cruel or unusual punishment shall not be inflicted, because they deprived Jesse Jacobs of constitutional rights provided by federal and state law that occurred under color of state law, and were caused by state actors.
- Jesse C. Jacobs’ had a right under the Eighth Amendment and the Due Process Clause, and as well as, Article One Section Thirteen of The Texas Constitution while incarcerated to adequate medical care, and be free from deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs.
- The Defendants treated Jesse with deliberate indifference to his serious medical need especially for treatment of Severe Panic Disorder, and anxiety, when the defendants recklessly disregarded the substantial risk of harm of abruptly discontinuing Jesse’s long-term benzodiazepine-alprazolam prescription that he needed to treat his mental health, and that his body developed a physical dependence.
- Jesse C. Jacobs had a right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment. Defendants violated when Sheriff Henry Trochesset, Galveston County, Galveston County Jail, and any John Doe policy makers acted with deliberate indifference to his serious medical need, after he began having seizures and their medical staff and Librium treatment were unable to control his seizures, in failing to verify his treatment with his physician and resume his medication, in failing to transport him to the hospital, or release him from custody. Galveston’s post-deprivation procedures are inadequate to remedy the deprivation, since Jesse died as a result of the deprivation.
- The policy, practice, and custom was to conduct an intake interview and determine whether an inmate has health concerns, or has been taking any controlled substances. If it is revealed that an inmate has been taking certain controlled substances, illegally or under prescription, then they are to be immediately detoxed, without the requirement of consulting with a physician. But rather, medical care decisions were based on the inmate’s admission of use by inmates, inmate stumbling, or “when you see it you know it.” (See 4-, Jail Intake forms)
THIRD CLAIM – WRONGFUL DEATH
- Sheriff Henry Trochesset, Galveston County, Galveston County Jail, and any John Doe policy makers, or its agent’s or servants, wrongful actions, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness or default and omissions in placing Jesse Jacobs on a detox protocol, failing to give Jesse Jacobs his prescribed medicine, failing to contact his physicians, Dr. LaGrone and failing to transport him to a hospital with a physician after he had each of his four known seizures.
- Defendant’s acts caused the wrongful death of Jesse resulting in damages recoverable under Tex. Civil Practice and Remedies Code Sec. 71.002.
- Defendant owed the decedent, Jesse Jacobs, a duty of care to provide him medical care and treatment in the Galveston Jail. The defendant breached that duty by placing Jesse Jacobs on a detoxification protocol, depriving him of his medication, failing to transport him to a hospital after suffering seizures and not medically monitoring his known condition.
FOURTH CLAIM-VIOLATION OF AMERICAN WITH DISABILITIES ACT AND REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973
- Thirty-two (32) year old, Jesse has suffered with, a well diagnosed, severe panic disorder for over a decade, as a result he has had an active prescription for Alprazolam to help alleviate his symptoms and treat his condition. Galveston County knew of Jacobs’ medical condition.
- Upon entering into custody Jesse made the Sheriff’s Dept., and medical staff aware that he was under outside psychiatric care, and diagnosed with Severe Panic Disorder, among other medical issues, and had been prescribed Alprazolam for his severe panic disorder, and anxiety. Jesse requested his medication from the jail staff and medical providers, but was denied his medication and adequate medical services, while an inmate in the Galveston County Jail.
- Jesse complained to his mother by phone from the jail, that he was not receiving his medications, he was suffering, he was having a “hard time,” and needed his attorney’s number in an attempt to get help in getting his medication.
- The Galveston County jail refused to release these telephone call recordings, or close circuit video visits. According to public records, Galveston County Jail has failed to meet jail requirement as it relates to health services, in the past. Each facility shall have and implement a written plan, approved by the Commission, for inmate medical, mental, and dental services. The plan shall provide procedures for the distribution of prescriptions in accordance with written instructions from a physician by an appropriate person designated by the sheriff/operator.
- Although the Texas Commission on Jail Standards indicates that Galveston County Jail was compliant, for the years of 2010 through 2015, including the period that Jesse was an inmate, many of the Jail standard requirements were not met for the same or similar reason in multiple years, specifically regarding health services, mental health documentation, and not providing proper supervision to the inmates by checking on the inmates every 30 minutes as prescribed by the jail standards requirements. The latest failure to meet all the Texas Jail Standard Requirements came in April 2015 of last year, less than 45 days after Jesse C. Jacobs’ death.
- Despite the failure to accommodate Jesse mental illness, severe panic disorder, and anxiety with his prescribed Alprazolam, compliant supervision could have likely assisted in getting medical attention to Jesse sooner, not only did he go without face to face supervision every hour as all inmates should, he should have been supervised every thirty (30) minutes as an inmate with a medical condition. Jesse went unmonitored for as long as six hours, according to medical records (Exhibit 5-Jail Medical Records)
- Jesse C. Jacobs is a qualified person with a disability, as defined under the ADAA and Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as Amended, since he has suffered from Severe Panic Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, all mental illnesses. As a qualified person with a disability under the ADAA, who requested a reasonable accommodation. Jesse was deprived of the reasonable accommodations (Exhibit 3- Intake medication receipt, Alprazolm), by Henry Trochesset-the Galveston County Sheriff, Galveston County Sheriff’s office, Galveston County Jail, any Doe actors, and any Doe Policy makers, by depriving Jesse reasonable accommodations the above named actors violated the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
Plaintiffs request the following relief:
- Punitive Damages
- Plaintiffs request punitive damages against each individually-named defendant. Exemplary damages based on conduct of placing Jesse C. Jacobs on a detox protocol without consulting his medical records or treating physician, and allowing Jesse C. Jacobs to continue to suffer daily experiencing seizures, racing pulse rates, stroke level blood pressure, restlessness, anxiousness, irritability, jittery, agitation, unrestful sleep, confusion, nightmares, tremors, fatigue, muscle aches, biting through his tongue drawing extreme amounts of blood across his face, profuse sweating, urination and diarrhea without access to a toilet and a ultimately a humiliating death without regard to his serious medical needs, while in the custody of the Galveston County Jail and care of Boone Chapman, Soulta Health’s medical personnel, Physicians, Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurses, Licensed vocational nurses, emergency medical technicians, that was outrageous, malicious, and morally culpable.
- Jesse C. Jacobs Jacob’s death resulted from the joint and several acts of Defendants for which Plaintiffs seek punitive and exemplary damages against each individual Defendant (as allowed by law) in an amount appropriate to punish each individual Defendant, and deter others from engaging in similar conduct;
- Award punitive damages against Henry Trochesset, Galveston County Sheriff, Galveston County Sheriff’s office, and Galveston County Jail, Doe actors, and Doe Policy makers in an amount to be shown at trial;
- These actions hereby entitle Plaintiffs to punitive/exemplary damages;
- Actual Damages
- Compensatory general damages against each Defendant, jointly and severally, in the amount proven at trial.
- As wrongful death beneficiaries, Plaintiffs seeks actual damages, both general and special, for the loss of their child, Jesse C. Jacobs, for the following specific elements of damages:
- Pecuniary Loss resulting from the death of Jesse including, but not limited to, the care, maintenance, support, services, education, advice, counsel, and reasonable contributions of a pecuniary value, loss of inheritance that the surviving family would have received from Jesse C. Jacobs, had he lived.
- Termination of the Family Relationship: The positive benefits flowing from the love, support, companionship, and society that Diane Jacobs and Jesse R. Jacobs, would in reasonable probability, have received from Jesse C. Jacobs, had he lived.
- Mental Anguish
- Mental Anguish suffered by Jesse C. Jacobs during the seven days in jail prior to his death. Mental anguish sustained by Jesse C. Jacobs from the time of the incident until his death;
- Mental Anguish suffered by Diane Jacobs and Jesse R. Jacobs: the surviving family as a result of the death of Jesse C. Jacobs including, but not limited to, the emotional pain, torment, and suffering that Plaintiff, would, in reasonable probability, experience from the death of Jesse C. Jacobs.
- Loss of Inheritance
- The earnings, if any, of the decedent in excess of the amount they would have used for the support of themselves and their families, and which in reasonable probability would have been added to their estates and left to Plaintiffs at their natural death had he lived.
- Compensatory special damages
- Including, but not limited to funeral expenses; Compensatory general damages against each Defendant, jointly and severally, in the amount proven at trial.
- Pain and Suffering
- Physical pain and suffering sustained by Jesse C. Jacobs from the time of the incident until his death;
- Reasonable and necessary medical expenses, Reasonable and necessary funeral and burial expenses.
- Reasonable and necessary medical expenses Jesse C. Jacobs from the time of the incident until the time of his death; and Reasonable and necessary funeral and burial expenses.
- Attorney’s Fees
- Plaintiffs are entitled to recover attorney’s fees and costs under 42 U.S. C. 1983 and 1988 including reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees incurred by or on behalf of Plaintiffs
- Equitable Relief
- Equitable relief, including, without limitation, that Galveston County and Sheriff Trochesset be made to apologize and to promulgate, adopt, train, maintain and enforce appropriate policies to prevent future instances of the type of misconduct described herein; Such other relief, including injunctive and/or declaratory relief, as the court may deem proper.
- J. Additional Damages
- Plaintiffs seek to recover all court costs, fees, expenses and expert fees.
Pre and post judgment interest as permitted by law; and,
Such other relief, including injunctive and/or declaratory relief, as the court may deem proper.
- JURY REQUEST
- Plaintiffs respectfully demand a trial by jury.
- WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Plaintiffs, Estate of Jesse C. Jacobs, Diane Jacobs, Jesse R. Jacobs, and Heirs of Jesse C. Jacobs and respectfully pray that Defendants Galveston County Sheriff Trochesset and Galveston County and Galveston County Jailers John Doe 1-20, be summoned to appear and answer herein, and that upon a final hearing of this cause, that judgment be entered for the Plaintiffs and against Defendants, both jointly and severally, for all damages requested herein, together with pre-judgment and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law, attorney’s fees, costs of court, and such other and further relief to which Plaintiffs may be entitled at law or in equity. Punish each individual Defendant, and deter others from engaging in similar conduct;
- Plaintiffs assert that the death of Jesse C. Jacobs was the result of government actors, Galveston County Sheriff Trochesset and Galveston County and Galveston County Jailers John Doe 1-20, individually, and collectively caused the death and harm suffered was the result of Defendants’ conduct motivated by evil motive or intent, or done recklessly or with callous indifference to the federally protected rights of Jesse C. Jacobs, and hereby entitle Plaintiffs to punitive/exemplary damages.
- Equitable relief, including, without limitation, that Galveston County and Sheriff Trochesset be made to apologize and to promulgate, adopt, train, maintain and enforce appropriate policies to prevent future instances of the type of misconduct described herein; Such other relief, including injunctive and/or declaratory relief, as the court may deem proper.
JESSE C. JACOBS 9/20/82 – 3/14/2015
Jesse Jacobs was killed in a Jail just south of Houston’s Harris County, in Galveston, County Texas, a few months after Jesse was killed, Sandra Bland died in a county just north of Harris County, in Waller County, Texas. Before Sandra Bland, there was Jesse C. Jacobs.
On March 14, 2015, Jesse Jacobs was pronounced dead after only serving 8 days in Galveston county jail’s custody, after being refused his prescribed medication.
Answers and sympathy remain hard to come by from the medical providers, and the most responsible, Galveston County’s Sheriff Henry Trochesset, who maintains that there was “no foul play”, JESSE “JUST DIED OF NATURAL CAUSES.”
Jesse was charged and plead guilty to driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor. Jesse agreed to serve 30 days in jail, and he was given 30 days to get his affairs in order, secure time off work, see his physicians, then turn himself into custody.
Jesse suffered from a mental illness, severe panic disorder. Jesse had been under the care of his well renowned license psychiatrist, Dr. LaGrone, M.D. for over ten years and the disorder was controlled with medication, Alprazolam (Zanax), a benzodiazepine. Jesse took dosage of 3mg of Alprazolam per day.
Jesse had been on a daily Alprazolam regime for over ten years. During the 30-day period leading up to Jesse turning himself into Galveston County Jail custody, Jesse called his lawyer to find out what steps were necessary to make sure he received all of his medications while he was in jail, he also called the Galveston County Jail just to double check, this was Jesse’s first and last time serving a sentence in jail, he was nervous. He was advised that he need to have his medications along with the prescriptions.
Jesse visited with his psychiatrist and explained that he made a mistake, but was owning up to it and would be serving a little time in jail, so needed new prescriptions to have with him when he turned himself in to jail. His psychiatrist obliged and included a handwritten letter stressing the importance that he take his medication daily.
We know Jesse was killed, but we don’t know how he died.
While in jail, Jesse called home every day, from Friday March 6, 2015, when he entered the jail, until Tuesday. Jesse failed to call home on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or ever again. On Friday the 13th of March at about 8:00am Jesse’s parents, Jesse and Diane, arrived at the jail to visit him, and to find out why he had not been in contact with them. While his parents were in the lobby of the jail, Diane’s cellphone rang, and it was the Galveston County Jail sheriff’s office stating there was an emergency. Jesse went into cardiac arrest and was being taken to nearby UTMB medical center Emergency room, which had actually occurred at 6:00am. Jesse was pronounced dead the next day, on March 14, Saturday 2015.
The Jail EMT decided to discontinue Jesse’s prescribed dosage of long term Alprazolam that Jesse had been taking for over ten years, to successfully combat his severe panic disorder, without contacting any physicians, for unknown reasons.
The discontinuation of the prescribed Alprazolam continued after Jesse’s records, including the prescriptions, and Dr. LaGrone’s letter, were examined by three of physicians, a nurse practitioner, numerous registered nurses, license vocational nurses and other EMTs.
As a result of the discontinuation of the prescribed Alprazolam, Jesse Jacobs immediately began to experience severe withdrawal symptoms including elevated blood pressure (195/119), racing heart rate (pulse 144), profuse sweating, anxiousness, confusion, hallucinations, restlessness, diarrhea, vomiting, panicking, seizures that worsened each day and ultimately resulted in his death. (See Death Certificate).
Allowing the abrupt discontinuation of long term Alprazolam was similar to the reason that one of the three treating physicians that treated Jesse Jacobs in the jail, Dr. Harry Faust, M.D., Pharm D., had his medical license suspended by the Texas Medical Board in the past. Specifically, for instructing a patient to cease taking benzodiazepines without adequate documentation to support the sudden cessation. (See Order of Suspension).
In the Galveston County Jail, gay inmates, like Jesse, are not segregated, as there are in most jails. Jesse was initially housed in POD B-300 (B-3). It is a unit where the more vulnerable inmates are housed, gay inmates, senior citizen inmates, chronically ill inmates, and generally inmates deemed unfit for the general population (GP). The temperature in B-3 usually rest below 60 degrees at most times. Jesse was assigned a coveted bottom bunk by the intake EMT, since Jesse would be detoxing.
On Monday, March 09, 2015, Jesse’s mom made a 140-mile round trip to visit her son, from Richmond Texas. The Galveston County Jail visits are facilitated through recorded closed circuit television, with a telephone receiver. Jesse complained that he had not been visited by a doctor yet, and he was not getting his medications. They called and spoke with the head of the medical department, Kathy White, a registered nurse. When his parents inquired, with the cold and callous Kathy White, they were immediately stonewalled with the HIPPA excuse that the jail medical cannot discuss Jesse’s condition with them without a release.
On Tuesday March 10, 2015, the last day he called home and his parents heard his voice, Jesse continued to make his parents aware that he had not received his medications and he was “doing bad” and he asked for his lawyer’s number, but he never called. The medical records reflect that Jesse Jacobs had his first recognized seizure, his fourth day in custody.
He was found lying on the floor of the B-3 unit, drooling. Later that day, for some unknown reason Jesse’s clothes were taken from him and he was moved, not to medical or transported to a hospital, but instead to full suicide protocol (FSP), also known as “solitary confinement,” “the butt naked,” “the hole.”
Full suicide protocol (FSP) is a room without a toilet, sink, or shower, but a drain in the middle of the floor of the room. FSP is often used for punitive purposes against unruly inmates, who leave insignias of their fury for being in FSP in the form of blood, feces, and urine, melted into the walls of FSP.
Jesse was sent to be left by himself in this FSP room with only a drain in the floor, instead of the medical unit, knowing he had been suffering from severe detoxification symptoms, vomiting profusely, and experiencing severe diarrhea.
On March 11, 2015, the next day, while in FSP, after another seizure, Jesse was found on the floor covered with so much of his own blood that the point of origination was unclear, but it was eventually determined he had bitten through his tongue, as his body convulsed during a Grand Mal seizure he experienced, and yet again he was not transported to the hospital, but was left on the FSP floor, and he was encouraged to remain on the floor by the jail staff.
Later on March 11, 2015, after calls and messages from medical personal to the jail physician Dr. Teresa Becker, M.D., Jesse eventually received a visit from Dr. Becker, she reviewed his records, which included a letter from his doctor stating “it is imperative he take all his meds every day,” as well as the prescriptions for Alprazolam, and after reading the letter from Jesse’s long time Psychiatrist, Dr. LaGrone, Dr. Becker allowed the discontinuation of the prescribed Alprazolam, and the detox protocol ordered by the EMT to continue. She failed to document the reason for failing to contact or follow-up with Jesse’s psychiatrist Dr. LaGrone. She also failed to document her refusal to follow Dr. LaGrone’s orders, or document the reason that the treatment with the Alprazolam should not resumed.
Dr. Becker consulted with Dr. Linea McNeel, a psychiatrist, and it was determined that Jesse should be placed on a Librium, starting on March 11, 2015 at 6:00pm, to be taken every six (6) hours. Although the new orders were then in place, even those new orders were not followed. Jesse was prescribed a dosage of the Librium every six hours. His next dose did not come until March 12, 2015 at 6:00am, twelve (12) hours later.
The Librium failed to reduce Jesse Jacobs’ severe withdrawal symptoms, including numerous seizures, and a documented Glascow coma scale level of 9 of 15, on March 12, 2015 at 11:25 am.
The medical records also reflect that he was left unsupervised and ignored by medical providers for hours each day, as he suffered from his withdrawal symptoms, and had a documented mental disorder. The jail standards commission requires that inmates with mental health issues be monitored every 15 minutes.
When Jesse Jacobs was found unresponsive in his cell, the nurse, Debbie Wiggins, left him to get ammonia caps, and eventually began chest compressions, as she performed CPR, then called 911.
According to emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and inmate rumors Jesse was found nude surrounded by his own feces, on the morning that he was found unresponsive in his cell, and the day he was finally transported and admitted to a hospital.
The Galveston County Jail is well equipped with cameras, including the FSP area were Jesse was housed, but the Galveston County Jail continues to refuse to release the videos, while at the same time claiming they did nothing wrong, relying on the findings from the Jail Standards Commission.
The Galveston County District Attorney’s office is investigating Jesse’s death, there is a case open with the FBI and an FBI agent assigned to the case. The Texas Medical Board (Physician licensing board), Nursing Board, and Department of Health (the EMT licensing board) are also investigating the Medical Providers. The first board hearing will take place in Austin, Texas starting in March 2016.
The autopsy is complete, he died due to abrupt discontinuation of long term alprazolam/seizure disorder, a disorder developed in custody, after he was deprived his medications.
The Texas Medical Board will be having a hearing on March 7, 2016 in Austin, TX
to consider disciplinary actions against Dr. Harry Louis Faust M.D., Pharm D.
The Texas Medical Board will be having a hearing on April 2016 in Austin, TX
to consider disciplinary actions against Dr. Teresa Becker, M.D.
For more information
Call: (619) 646-8632