Las Vegas, Nevada – A recent federal lawsuit alleges that Fernando Martinez Jr. died while incarcerated at the Clark County Detention Center due to inadequate medical treatment. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Martinez’s mother, Sonia Esparza, claims that jail staff failed to provide proper care for Martinez’s mental health and physical well-being.
Martinez, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, lost 64 pounds over a span of 77 days before his death. The lawsuit argues that jail staff were aware of Martinez’s condition and history of deteriorating mental health, yet failed to address his needs. Attorney Peter Goldstein, representing Martinez’s mother, wrote in the complaint that the defendants are responsible for Martinez’s tragic death, which could have been prevented with adequate monitoring and treatment.
Wellpath LLC, a private company in charge of medical care at the jail since 2019, is also named in the lawsuit. The company has faced numerous lawsuits alleging wrongful deaths across the nation. In a 2019 investigation, CNN found that Wellpath was linked to over 70 deaths within a five-year period. Despite these allegations, Wellpath declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The Metropolitan Police Department, which operates the jail, is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. However, they have declined to comment due to the ongoing litigation. The lawsuit highlights the delays in transferring individuals for competency treatment, which resulted in Martinez remaining in the jail despite being deemed incompetent and in need of treatment at a state psychiatric hospital.
On February 14, Martinez exhibited concerning symptoms, including stumbling and dilated pupils. He had previously expressed paranoia about the food, believing it to be poisoned, and occasionally forced himself to vomit after eating. That evening, Martinez did not leave his bunk for dinner and was found unresponsive by a corrections officer over three hours later. Attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful, and it was determined that Martinez had been dead for some time.
The lawsuit contends that jail employees failed to provide Martinez with adequate housing, monitor his food intake, or ensure proper care for his mental health needs. It also questions the accuracy of Martinez’s autopsy report, suggesting that he actually died of starvation rather than hypertensive cardiovascular disease as ruled by the coroner’s office.
In conclusion, the federal lawsuit alleges that Fernando Martinez Jr. died due to neglect and inadequate medical and mental health attention while incarcerated at the Clark County Detention Center. The defendants, including jail staff and Wellpath LLC, are accused of failing to provide the necessary treatment and care that could have prevented Martinez’s tragic death. The lawsuit calls for justice and accountability for the loss of Martinez’s life.