Inmate Norman Fisher Died After Being Transferred From Sacramento County Main Jail To Hospital

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA (September 4, 2023) – An inmate identified as Norman Fisher has tragically died in custody while staying at the Sacramento County Main Jail.

The Sheriff’s Office normally posts information about inmate deaths. However, the only reason that Norman Fisher’s death is public is due to his ex-wife.

Wendi Fisher reached out to a local newspaper after learning her ex-husband was in the hospital. He was transferred from the Sacramento County Main Jail to a local hospital.

By the time she arrived, Norman Fisher was in a coma and he died on May 27 at the age of 47. He lived in Woodland and worked at a carbon factory. He is survived by two children.

Wendi Fisher said that her ex-husband was healthy when he was first admitted. But he started to complain about being congested prior to his hospitalization.

The cause of death listed on his death certificate was septic shock, a bacterial infection, acute kidney failure and pneumonia. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.


Liability for Sacramento County Inmate Deaths

Sacramento County has a particularly poor track record when it comes to the care that it provides inmates. According to the Sacramento Bee, “There has been an uptick in the number of overall Sacramento jail deaths in recent years. In 2021 and 2022, there were 19 jail deaths — higher than any other two-year period dating back to 2005, according to the Department of Justice.” According to one independent medical report, errors by medical staff caused the death of several Sacramento County inmates in recent years. Several other factors could contribute to an inmate death.

  • Inefficient staffing by healthcare workers.
  • Insufficient custody staffed dedicated to healthcare delivery.
  • Insufficient evaluation of medical care quality.
  • Inadequate evaluation, treatment and monitoring of patients.
  • Lack of timely access to specialty medical services.

All inmates have a constitutional right to receive reasonably adequate healthcare. The level of care that an inmate will require depends on their unique health profile. Some people enter the prison system with chronic illnesses. Other people may need medical care and check ups occasionally. If a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a civil claim.

Consider, for example, the tragic death of Lonnie Rupard. He was booked into the Central Jail in San Diego in 2021. He died on March 17, 2022. According to the medical examiner, he died due to pneumonia, malnutrition and dehydration. His schizophrenia was also allegedly not being properly treated during his incarceration. The civil lawsuit brought by his family claimed he did not receive even the most basic level of dignity and care. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any inmate death.

  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • An independent autopsy may need to be performed.
  • Surveillance footage should be reviewed.
  • A civil rights attorney should be consulted.

There are a number of reasons that inmates may not get adequate medical care during their stay. Part of the problem is that the companies providing medical care for inmates are not always overseen by the county. Counties often outsource care to private corporations that are chiefly concerned with making  money. Their primary concern is not providing constitutionally adequate medical care for patients. The family of any inmate that died in custody may have legal recourse through a wrongful death claim.


Investigating Inmate Deaths At The Sacramento County Main Jail

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Norman Fisher. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There are so many questions that need to be answered. Was this man getting proper care before he died. Every person has rights under the constitution that must be protected regardless of why they are in jail.

Do you need more information about an in-custody death at the Sacramento County Main Jail? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to assist you in any way that we can. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. 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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