A press conference was held Wednesday announcing the filing of a lawsuit against the Galveston County Jail.
The Claimants state that Galveston County Jail and the private healthcare provider that works for them are not providing the necessary medical care at the jail and inmates are dying.
The family of 58-year-old Jorge Cortez was informed by authorities at the Galveston County Jail of the death of Mr. Cortez. Cortez began experiencing dizziness and told the guards. He requested to be moved to a lower bunk but was denied. When Mr. Cortez tried to lay on the lower bunk without permission, he was informed that he would need approval from the Jail’s medical personnel.
Eventually, Mr. Cortez was seen by the private healthcare provider contracted through the jail. Dr. Soluta, the identified contractor, denied the request and prescribe Cortez ibuprofen.
Mr. Cortez later fell from the top bunk and punctured his lung.
The family members of Mr. Cortez claim that after Mr. Cortez fell, messages were passed from other inmates to their visiting family members asking them to notify Mr. Cortez’s family about his illness and incident. The other inmates were trying to get help for Mr. Cortez.
Mr. Cortez was seen again by Dr. Soluta and was isolated but Mr. Cortez’s condition worsened. Eventually, the jail’s solution was to place him in solitary confinement. With his condition rapidly deteriorating, Mr. Cortez died while being placed in an ambulance.
The lawsuit states that Mr. Cortez was not the only inmate to die in custody. The Galveston County Jail has logged at least five other preventable inmate deaths within the last five years.
All deceased inmates were under the care of Dr. Soluta.