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Yellowstone County, MT

Billings, MT: (Apr-23-07) The family of Jeffrey Johnson, who died after being booked into the county jail, filed suit against Yellowstone County, claiming that Johnson's death was the result of the county's negligence in availing medical help. Johnson, 34, died February 21, 2002, a day after he was arrested in Billings and booked into the county jail on a warrant for misdemeanor assault. At the time of his arrest, Johnson was being treated in Billings for back pain, mental illness and alcoholism. Johnson was prescribed painkiller patches by a doctor on the day of his arrest, and was wearing two of them when he was booked into the county jail. The lawsuit calls the prescription amount excessive, and claims jail medical staff did not assess whether that level was appropriate when processing Johnson for jail. Johnson later suffered a cardiac arrest and was taken to a Billings hospital, where he was put on life support until being pronounced dead. Yellowstone County agreed to settle the wrongful death lawsuit by paying his relatives $35,000. [GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE: PAIN PATCH DEATH]


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Published on Apr-26-07


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