The cause of death for a 27-year-old woman who was found deceased May 19 in the Montgomery County Jail was a bowel obstruction, not a suspected overdose, according to the coroner’s office.
The family of Sasha Garvin has hired an attorney who plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Dayton’s U.S. District Court against Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer and NaphCare, the third-party medical provider in the jail.
Attorney Douglas Brannon said the suspected drug overdose was an easy assumption for jail staff in the sheriff’s office. A toxicology report found no illegal drugs.
“They want to try and blame everything on a heroin problem or something like that, well that’s not what was going on with Sasha,” Brannon said. “Had they stopped, looked and listened as to what was going on and took the time to care for their inmates, this wouldn’t have happened.”
A spokeswoman from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said Friday the death is still under investigation and there would be no comment.
In a statement provided to this news organization, a NaphCare representative wrote that: “The recent death of Sasha Garvin is a tragic loss. While we can’t discuss the specifics of patient care due to privacy laws and ethical obligations, every day NaphCare works hard and innovates to save lives and improve patient health.”
NaphCare Chief Legal Officer Brad Cain later said he was unaware Garvin’s cause of death was found by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office to be a bowel obstruction and could not comment on that.
Brannon said a NaphCare nurse saw Garvin — who had a history of Crohn’s Disease — but that a Naphcare doctor denied her request to be taken to an area hospital’s emergency room. Cain said he also could not comment on that.
When Montgomery County Jail staff went to Female Hold Cell (FHD) 122 at 8:14 a.m. May 19, Garvin was curled up next to the wall by a toilet. That’s when another inmate in the same cell yelled, “She’s dead, she’s dead, she’s been dead for a while,” according to jail reports obtained through open records laws.
Brannon said that Garvin’s medical condition could have easily been diagnosed and treated. Garvin’s mother said her daughter had recently completed drug addiction treatment.
RELATED: Nine lawsuits against jail staff
The lawsuit, when it is filed, will be the 10th active suit against Plummer’s office involving allegations of wrongdoing by jail staff. None of the suits has been settled or reached trial.
“If he feels like he’s under siege in this community, it’s because people are failing to do their job in that jail,” Brannon said. “And now, people are getting hurt, and people have died, and people need to be held responsible for those events.”
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