Inmate Kim Stevens (Full Name: Kim Ray Stevens), of Fontana, Died In Custody After Medical Emergency At West Valley Detention Center In Rancho Cucamonga

pexels-rdne-stock-project-6069522RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIFORNIA (June 13, 2024) – A 61-year-old man identified as Kim Stevens has died in custody following a medical emergency at the West Valley Detention Center.

San Bernardino County officials are saying that the incident took place around 4:00 p.m. on June 11. Kim Stevens was receiving care for a serious medical condition at the hospital.

At some point during the medical examination, he went into cardiac arrest. Hospital staff attempted life-saving measures, but Kim Stevens later died at the hospital.

A full investigation into the death remains ongoing at this time.

Liability For Rancho Cucamonga Inmate Deaths

Heart attacks and cardiovascular illnesses remain major causes of inmate death in the United States. According to the Journal of American Cardiology, “ Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death among individuals incarcerated, and those recently released have a higher risk of being hospitalized and dying of cardiovascular disease compared with the general population.” Jail and medical staff should be trained to spot the signs an inmate may be going through a heart attack.

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold Sweat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in the stomach, arms, back, neck, or jaw

Jails and private healthcare providers can be held liable for the death of an inmate in their care. When the state removes a person’s freedom through incarceration, certain constitutional standards will apply. Inmates have a constitutional right to receive reasonably adequate healthcare for their medical conditions. If a jail or private healthcare provider is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are many ways that a jail or hospital may have failed to adequately care for an inmate.

  • Inmates may not have received the medication that they needed.
  • Inmates may not have been transported to the hospital in a timely manner.
  • Inmates may not have received periodic wellness checks.

A large number of inmate deaths are preventable and involve some amount of medical neglect. Unfortunately, though, jails are often quick to label inmate deaths as “natural,” but this label can be highly misleading. A large number of supposedly natural deaths involve inmates who are very young. The family of any person who dies in custody may be able to seek some accountability through a civil claim.

 

Investigating Inmate Deaths At The West Valley Detention Center

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Kim Stevens. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. Every person has a right to receive adequate care, regardless of what they are accused of.

Do you need more information about an inmate death at the West Valley Detention Center? Our team of civil rights attorneys is here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are held accountable for their unconstitutional actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.

 

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