Last summer, 58-year-old Larry McCollum, a Dallas-area prison inmate, died of a heat stroke after living in a prison cell with no air-conditioning. The Texas Civil Rights Project recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit on his behalf.
They hope the lawsuit will help change the conditions of confinement so those who are vulnerable to heat will not suffer, like the elderly and those with medical conditions.
Jim Harrington, the Texas Civil Rights Project executive director, said nine inmates died of heat stroke or heat-related causes last summer. Of 111 Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison units, only 21 are fully air-conditioned. The others are partially-air-conditioned in the medical or education areas, but not in the living areas.
When McCollum arrived at the prison, officers greeted him by saying, “Welcome to hell.” McCollum had been convicted of forgery and had only been in the state prison for three days before he collapsed. The autopsy stated his death resulted from living in a hot environment.
The temperature inside the facility would rise to about 96 degrees. McCollum’s body temperature was above 109 degrees when he arrived to the hospital. They had distributed water to the inmates, but allegedly, since McCollum had not received his ID card, he could not buy a cup to drink water, or a fan.
When your loved one dies, it is a heart-wrenching, overwhelming time. But if they have died because of the negligence of another, this makes the death even more painful. If your loved one suffered a wrongful death, you should contact the Law Office of W.T. Johnson today to get the justice you deserve before it’s too late.