Lexington government pays $60,000 to settle lawsuit in death of inmate

jhewlett@herald-leader.comMay 23, 2012 

Dean Ferguson, an inmate at the Fayette County Detention Center, died of a pulmonary embolism after complaining of leg pain and shortness of breath.

  • The Urban County Government has paid $60,000 to settle a lawsuit involving the July 2010 death of Dean Ferguson, a prisoner who collapsed at the local jail and later died.

    Douglas Ferguson and Lisa Ferguson Day, the man's siblings and co-administrators of his estate, sued the local government and others in federal court in June, saying Dean Ferguson was the victim of "egregious and unjustifiable treatment" at the Fayette County Detention Center. The suit sought compensatory and punitive damages.

    The lawsuit was settled through mediation this month. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray's office released a document outlining the settlement, which included the local government's agreement to pay the $60,000. Under an order by Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph M. Hood, all parties are to pay their own costs and attorney fees.

    Ferguson, 54, of Lexington was serving time at the jail on weekends after he was convicted of drunken driving. He collapsed at the jail and was pronounced dead of a pulmonary embolism at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital the next day.

    In March 2011, the state nursing board suspended the licenses of two nurses employed by a company that contracted with the jail to provide medical care. The suspensions were stayed under the condition that the nurses, Karen Hodge and Stephanie Travis, receive training and supervision. The women were in charge of tending to Ferguson's medical needs when he was in jail.

    Jennifer Hewlett, jhewlett@herald-leader.com

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County government has paid $60,000 to settle a lawsuit involving the July 2010 death of Dean Ferguson, a prisoner who collapsed at the local jail and later died.

Douglas Ferguson and Lisa Ferguson Day, the man's siblings and co-administrators of his estate, sued the local government and others in federal court in June, saying Dean Ferguson was the victim of "egregious and unjustifiable treatment" at the Fayette County Detention Center. The suit sought compensatory and punitive damages.

The lawsuit was settled through mediation this month. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray's office released a document outlining the settlement, which included the local government's agreement to pay the $60,000. Under an order by Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph M. Hood, all parties are to pay their own costs and attorney fees.

Ferguson, 54, of Lexington was serving time at the jail on weekends after he was convicted of drunken driving. He collapsed at the jail and was pronounced dead of a pulmonary embolism at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital the next day.

In March 2011, the state nursing board suspended the licenses of two nurses employed by a company that contracted with the jail to provide medical care. The suspensions were stayed under the condition that the nurses, Karen Hodge and Stephanie Travis, receive training and supervision. The women were in charge of tending to Ferguson's medical needs when he was in jail.

Jennifer Hewlett: (859) 231-3308. Twitter: @HLPublicSafety.

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