A $4.75 million deal between a Pennsylvania’s Lebanon County and the estate of an inmate who died while allegedly suffering from heroin withdrawal is one of the largest civil incarceration settlements in the last decade, reports the Lebanon, Pa., Daily News. The county won’t admit wrongdoing in the 2015 death of inmate Tori Herr, but the settlement being paid on behalf of the county to Herr’s estate holds the jail accountable, says the estate’s attorney. Herr was addicted to heroin and had withdrawal symptoms at the time of her death. On March 31, 2015, she collapsed outside of her cell, lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest. She died six days later. She had not received medical attention for several days previously despite severe withdrawal symptoms, the lawsuit charged.
“It’s certainly one of the largest settlements in at least the last ten years involving the death of a prisoner in civil rights litigation,” said Jonathan Feinberg, an attorney representing Tori Herr’s estate and her mother, Stephanie Moyer. “When there are breakdowns in the way a prison is run, and when those breakdowns cause harm like the unimaginable harm that was caused to Tori Herr, this suit shows that prisons and staff will be held accountable.” Feinberg added that Herr “should not have died in the Lebanon County Correctional Facility. She had a serious condition which could have easily been treated.” No criminal charges were sought.