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Death Reported at Lawrence County Jail

An inmate at the Lawrence County jail was recently found dead in his holding
cell. 37-year-old Reno Riggle ended up in jail after being taken by police
for violating a protective order. Riggle was also charged with operating
a vehicle while intoxicated and endangering a person, operating a vehicle
with alcohol content more a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.15 percent,
resisting law enforcement and invasion of privacy. A police log provided
information that an officer took Riggle to IU Health Hospital for an alcohol
level blood draw but he was later cleared by medical staff and sent to
be incarcerated. Riggle died soon after.

According to the Lawrence County Police log:

  • Riggle was found unconscious in his cell by a jail officer at 12:28 a.m.
  • The jail officer requested an ambulance.
  • The coroner, Rob Herr was requested to respond to the jail at 12:33 a.m.
  • At 12:53 a.m. an Indiana State Police detective was requested to respond
    to the jail.

Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham says there was no evidence of foul
play. Autopsy results are still pending and when those become available
the Wagner Reese Prison Death Attorneys will be sure to update our readers
as more information is concluded.

Inmates Have the Right to Be Cared For

According to the
Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the past decade,
over 10,000 inmates have lost their lives in both city and county jails and men are eight
times more likely to die while in the custody. Whether this
inmate’s death was the result of a tragic accident, sickness, natural causes –
or in some extreme cases inadequate or insufficient health care, abuse
or mistreatment – his family and loved ones are left to suffer in
his absence and deserve a full investigation to find answers.

Individuals being held at jails may be experiencing punishment for a wrongdoing,
but they still have the right to be cared for in appropriate ways, including
being provided access to appropriate and timely medical attention for
illness, injury, or physical or mental state. Correctional facilities
have a duty to their inmates to ensure the safety of those in their charge
and may be guilty of wrongdoing or negligence in many
jail or prison death cases.

Wrongful Death Cases

In Indiana, there is a statutory cap of $700,000 on damages for negligence
cases against government agencies or actors. However, many jail and prison
death cases involve violations of federal civil rights under
42 U.S.C. §1983. There is no cap on damages in federal civil rights cases, and attorney
fees can be recovered from the defendant. Our attorneys understand the
complexities of federal civil rights litigation and know how to plead
a case so your claim is not limited by the state tort claims cap. If your
loved one has suffered injury or
death in an Indiana jail or prison, the
wrongful death attorneys at Wagner Reese can assist you in recovering financial damages for the
losses you have sustained. Contact us now at (888) 204-8440 to schedule
an appointment in our Indianapolis or Carmel offices, or use our convenient,
contact form.