Late inmate's family sues Erie County jail, Perkins twp.

The family of an Erie Couty jail inmate who died while incarcerated on Jan. 1 has filed suit against the Erie County, jail staff, Perkins Township and Perkins police officers.
Sandusky Register Staff
Jul 20, 2012

The family of an Erie Couty jail inmate who died while incarcerated on Jan. 1 has filed suit against the Erie County, jail staff, Perkins Township and Perkins police officers.

Margaret Stallard, 50, of Sandusky, was booked into the jail at about 4 a.m. New Year's Day.

Perkins Township police Sgt. Mark Kusser arrested Stallard at about 3:20 a.m. while responding to a call about a vehicle break-in on Kevin Drive. The officer found Stallard in a parked truck and arrested her for disorderly conduct while intoxicated.

Inside her purse jail staff found two prescription pill bottles — one containing 32 Xanax pills, the other holding five Elavil pills. She had recently filled the prescriptions and many of the pills were missing.

The staff put Stallard in isolation, and checked on her about 14 times over the next several hours.

Jail nurse Linda Scroggy and another corrections officer later found Stallard unresponsive in her cell at about 8:45 a.m. A coroner's reporter later determined Stallard died from a lethal combination of the prescription drugs Xanax, Percocet, OxyContin, Serax, Restoril, Valium and Elavil.

The lawsuit names violations of Stallard's civil rights, wrongful death, willful misconduct and pain and suffering on behalf of Stallard's family members, who want in excess of $2 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

A myriad of parties, including the Sheriff's Department, the Erie County Board of Commissioners, Former Erie County Sheriff Terry Lyons, the Perkins Township Board of Trustees, and Perkins police Chief Ken Klamar.

Read more on this developing case in Saturday's Register.

Comments

Sit n Spin

Well of course they are...it's the American way !  No personal accountability ! Unless the jail staff shoved the narcotics down her throat I think the Stallard's need to seek their payday elsewhere !  This lady injested enough to kill a water buffalo !!!!

Train

 2 Million Bucks for what? Jeeminy Christmas!

Seen it All

I completely agree Sit n Spin..   I don't think she would of been "saved" had she been admitted to the hospital!!  Unless they got jailhouse video that shows someone else shoved those pills down her throat, I don't see how they have a case!

steelersfan71

 this is the biggest waste of time when the family loses this case and they should perkins should sue them for 2 million for a frivilious lawsuit. nobody forced het to take the pills you play the pill game and you pay the price. game over

rickross

Thanks alot Bin-Laden!

deertracker

Hey Rick, how's the teen club coming?

FlyBoy86

I guess that's why they call it "Sin City".

rickross

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Most Wanted

She's found out alone on New Year's Eve, drunk and now obviously overdosed....and now the family cares?  Isn't it a little late for that?  Where were they on New Year's Eve?

4-wheeler al

when  they found all of them pills missing,call the for transport to the ER. smart thing too do instead putting her ina lock room and watching to see if she make it or dies.what would you do if a family member laying in a bed with alot of missing pills from the contaniers. let them lay there i didnt put them down there throat or call for medical help.

THED0N

A lethal combination of the prescription drugs Xanax, Percocet, OxyContin, Serax, Restoril, Valium and Elavil. I hope a Judge is smart enough to throw this out of court. Sounds like to me she was on a mission! Can there families attorney find anyone else sue? Next there going to sue everyone that heard the call on their home police scanner!

Erie County Resident

The family is "So concerned and outraged" at this.

Ok, I could possibly see this.....

Oh who the heck am I kidding..   Yes it was an unfortunate incident and wish it had a better outcome but.

Hey "family" where were you while she was going down hill enough, months or years before taking these drugs?

Where were you the night she did this to herself, took them and then got arrested?

 

It is a sad day for all, but go get a job your "payday" is down the road!!!

davey

 They obviously should have taken her to the hospital. 

2cents's picture
2cents

Did anyone consider that maybe she wanted to be off this planet, but was caught before she went to the other side?

Taxed Enough Already

 who is the numbskull lawyer that would take this one?  oh wait..maybe the ambulance chasing Murray's.

bobaluey

Another worthless junk lawsuit designed to  RAPE  the  taxpayers!

7  different drugs in her system,  hell,  most  rock stars don't even take that much. { Yes, I'm being sarcastic }

 

What a crock!

Restless1

Perhaps a new protocal should be put in place.  When you check the date of the prescription and the recommended dosage, a simple pill count should trigger some alarm if the balance of the pills doesn't match the number of days of use.  A trip to the ER should be a standard practice.

So I have mixed emotions on this one.  Sorry.

Seen it All

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Seen it All

I guess posting her 41 citations for being intoxicated was TOO lengthly!  haha, That was just from Sandusky!   To her family:  YOU could of prevented her death YEARS ago by getting her off the booze and drugs instead of expecting the police to babysit your drunken relative all the time!  She's a known drunk, they are use to arresting her and letting her sleep it off!!

dontknowmuch

Family sees $$$$$. Too bad they didn't care enough to help her when she was alive. Now they want to lay blame and score a payday.... only in America!

iamrevolutionary

 I can see both sides of this conflict. 

True, she took the pills and drank alcohol herself. No one forced her. She got herself arrested.

But!  When LE took custody of her, they took responsibility for her well-being. I would think that it would be standard practice to take a prisoner suspected of being under the influence of drugs, to the hospital or jail nurse, if only to determine if severe withdrawls are imminent.... They can kill, whether from drinking or drugs....

So, I don't know how I judge this if I were on a jury....

Concerned For A...

What an unfortunate situation. People that have never dealt with addiction in their family dont realize you can't just "get" a person off of drugs or alcohol. I totally get what your saying, but it isn't the families fault that this woman abused. Nobody knows if her family tried to help her or not. They may have several times. When a person is an addict, THEY are the ones that have to make the choice to get clean and stay that way. You can give them ultimatums, and offer treatment all day long. Untill that person is ready to admit that they have a serious problem, and are ready to get help for themselves, there is nothing anybody can do to help. So sad that this woman met her demise before she got help. I also belive that erie county jail should be held acountable in some way. She should have been taken to the er, no matter how many umpteen million times she was arrested previously. There is a very fine line between just being intoxicated, and near death.

deertracker

Well, I am not sure who is at fault here but I thought, and I could be wrong, that once you are in custody the responsibilty falls on the entity that has you in custody.  They probably should have taken her to the hospital for proper monitoring from medical personnel but then they would have been responsible for the bill.  Can' have that!

Bleeding Turnips

 Why are we blaming anyone but her? She chose to take an overdose, I didn’t see any cops holding her down and forcing pills down her throat.

As for the family’s lawsuit, where was your concern to get her help before she OD’d? I think the city should sue you for 2 million dollars for not taking responsibility for your so called “loved one” when there was time to help her. The cops had her for about four hours, you had her for her whole life and chose not to help her.  

Quit looking to profit from someone that you allowed to die by neglecting her. You as the family are more responsible than any law enforcement. She ultimately is the one who chose to do drugs, so lets see, blame to her 85%, blame to the family 14% blame to law enforcement 1%. 

Right to know

Well said, Bleeding Turnips!! 

savantpm

This lawsuit is a joke!  If they were so concerned about Margaret, why did they not attempt to aid her the morning she died?  I'm quite sure the jail staff would have contacted them.  If she was rejected from her family for her addictions, they have NO business suing the involved Perkins officials and staff!  I've known addicts rejected by their families.  After getting to know their families, I understood why they became addicted.  Instead of coming forward to assist the addicted persons, some Americans choose to ignore them as an embarrassment, as they worry about weeds on their lawns!  These families tend to have superficial values and wonder, "What whould the neighbors and other relatives think?!"  I'm sure there is a special place in Heaven for Margaret, as Jesus chose to hang out with people considered "losers" by mainstream, superficial society.

Additionally, there are too many attorneys in this nation. 

cockynurse

 Oh come on-this is the era of entitlement and no matter the circumstances, people always believe the police are in the wrong.  Looks like she was walking perfectly fine all by herself-from the video provided! Give me a break.  Maybe the police should re-open their investigation and charge all of the people at the house where she was walking FROM with her death.  Its no secret that place is a pill mill.  Yes, Christina-that includes you.   Shame, shame, shame...

wiredmama222

If some of you had bothered to read the actual complaint you would know that Gold and Zelvy here in Sandusky have taken this case and are the attorneys of record in this filing. 

They have filed on behalf of the husband and daughter for her estate against the police for what they say is negligence on their part.  She wasn't drunk but  had taken too many pills and that went unnoticed by the police. 

This one may not get thrown out by the judge as she didn't have a high blood alcohol level when she was brought in and no one noticed how many pills she had taken.  OOPS.  Seems the nurse might be held accountable on this one too. 

Assuming that someone is drunk is a far cry from one BEING drunk.  If she didn't blow the meter as a drunk, letting her "sleep it off" was a BAD idea.  Someone should have checked her purse and taken her for a check up.  Especially if they knew this was a pill mill house.  This one indeed is a foul up. 

As for accountabliity....when you pick someone up and they are not drunk....the accountability is now in the hands of the law, not the person who is picked up.  Would you not agree?  Especially if that person is somewhat out of it to begin with?  Common sense should have told them if she isn't drunk then something else is wrong.  Take her in and get her checked out....not let her "sleep it off". 

DGMutley

God Bless her.  Ms. Stallard didn't die in vain.  Since her death I've noticed that both the PPD and the SPD have made it part of their protocol to take anyone  who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the hospital for evaluation before taking them to the jail. She may have saved a life already!  Hats off to the departments!!

wiredmama222

DGMutley.....as many of us do not know the ongoing protocol or changes in the SPD or PPD and if that is true, then good for them.  Any changes made to protect the incoming persons who are brought in from dying in the jail is a good thing.  One cannot be too careful.  So good for the police if they are if fact  doing just that .What a shame it took someone dying to shake up a change such as this. I hope the sheriff's department is also making said changes

Sue Meredith

According to the full story in the paper, the medical examiner said there was NO alcohol in her system . Her death was caused by an overdose of prescription drugs. My question is who prescribed all of these various drugs and why was there not a red flag raised when the nurse saw that 90 pills were gone from a prescriptioin that had just been filled the previous day? Someone dropped the ball here and this poor woman paid with her life. I knew it was just a matter of time before a lawsuit was filed.

rickross

Well lets just take every criminal to the hospital"just to be safe". The taxpayers have to foot the hospital bills. I'd be willing to bet that we payed for her pills too. And if she has been arrested as many times as were posted on here, than I see why they took the route that they did. Please judge do not award any of my tax dollars to the family.

tag041171

I too had a situation few years back where i was arrested and clearly injured, i was arrested taken straight to erie county jail despite my requests for medical treatment the next day when i got out i went to firelands emergency room and i had an orbital fracture to my eye....way to go spd!....regardless of what this woman did ...her rights to medical treatment were neglected...my full support goes out to this family!!

tag041171

furthermore this poor woman obviously needed help...yeah they helped her alright!!!

wiredmama222

@ rickross....you seem obsessed with where your tax money goes.  How about getting yourself apponinted to some committee that oversees just where that money is spent so all your fears can be set to rest that just YOUR money can be spent where YOU say it should be spent. 

As of right now, it all goes into a big pot and is put where the people elected to office SAY it goes, so after you pay your tax bill, you really have no right to say where it get spent.  You did that with your vote when you placed people in office to do that for you.  If your person or persons didn't get elected, I am sorry but the people who did get elected now get their say as to what gets spent and how. That's just the system.

As for this lady, try a little compassion.  Its really sad that she had to die in a place where they didn't think to check on a possiblity that starred them smack in the face.  Had they done that, she might still be alive.  It is hard for me to believe that a nurse and the police wouldn't have thought about it having seen a half full bottle of medications with a known drug addict and the way she was acting and NOT think to take her to the hospital.

NO, they don't need to take them all to the hospital.  But they do need to take more care in what they are looking at.  Perhaps better training is in order. 

As for your worries about your tax dollars.....they are not YOURS once they are paid.  they are the property of the government.  So you can quit worrying.  What they do with them is THEIR business, not yours.  And it is apparent that they will do with them what THEY see fit.  Ever heard of appropriations?  Insurance?  These things are items you might want to look at.  Especially the insurance as it is that that will be paying for the lawsuit and NOT your tax dollars. 

The other is where your tax dollars are used to pay the salary of the men and women who do the jobs and run the offices of he services that keep you safe, etc.  . 

The Brownie Elf

What would have happened if the Sergeant never found her in her car?  Would the family sue the agency for not finding their relative with a whole pharmacy's worth of scheduled drugs in her system?  I am sorry for their loss but we as a society have to start taking responsibility for our own actions.  And not always blame law enforcement or the government. 

bobaluey

The government wouldn't  have that property in the first place,  IF,  It were not for OUR tax dollars!