Police Mistakes Lead to Tragic Jail Death and Lawsuit Settlement

A recent lawsuit against Williamson County has ended with a $1.25 million settlement. The case involved the death of Joshua McNatt, a 37-year-old man who died by suicide while in jail. This sad event shows how police and jail staff can make serious mistakes that hurt people.

When McNatt was arrested in 2021, he told jail staff he was suicidal. He also had mental health problems like schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression. Even though the jail knew about his issues, they didn’t give him his mental health medicines.

The biggest mistake happened when McNatt was on suicide watch. A jail officer gave him towels, a sheet, and a blanket. These items can be dangerous for someone who might try to hurt themselves. Just 18 minutes later, officers found McNatt hanging in his cell.

The lawsuit said the jail broke many rules by leaving a suicidal person with things he could use to harm himself. After McNatt was taken to the hospital, the jail released him from custody. The lawsuit claims this was done to avoid paying his medical bills.

Sadly, this isn’t the only case like this in Williamson County. The county has paid millions of dollars to settle other lawsuits about inmates dying in jail. In one case, a suicidal inmate was given a bed sheet and used it to try to kill himself. In another, a mentally ill inmate died after being denied medical help.

These cases show how important it is for police and jail staff to take mental health seriously and follow proper safety rules. When they don’t, people can get hurt or even die. If you or someone you know has been mistreated by police or in jail, it’s important to speak up and seek help from a lawyer who understands these issues.

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While most of our clients hail from Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown, and Pflugerville in Travis and Williamson Counties, we have also worked with clients in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Other clients have come from Lakeway, Jollyville, Anderson Mill, Kyle, and Leander. If your accident was in Texas, we can help you. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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