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Family of inmate who died in jail files lawsuit against St. Louis County

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    CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOV) — The family of a man who died in the St. Louis County Jail filed a lawsuit Thursday.

The family of 20-year-old Lamar Catchings filed a suit against the St. Louis County Jail and health department on allegations of negligence.

Catchings died last Spring and was in jail for months on assault and criminal action charges.

“Not enough, not enough, if they did enough we would have not loss another three inmates,” said Tashona Troupe.

The 61-page suit details the agony Troupe’s 20-year-old son, Lamar Catchings, went through the final days before his death.

An autopsy revealed he died after not being treated for leukemia while in custody.

“He didn’t have to die, he had a cancer that was 90% curable,” she said.

In exclusive video recorded eight days before Catchings died, he’s seen unable to stand and sinking down a wall while inmates try to alert guards he needs medical attention.

The lawsuit says instead of Catchings receiving treatment, correctional officers lifted him off the floor and transported him into a wheelchair where he’s later seen being rolled into a court hearing.

According to the suit, it states Catchings called out for help by submitting several sick forms. He wrote on one saying quote “I need a doctor”.

Medical records from the jail indicate he was never seen by a doctor and was only seen three times by a nurse in his cell.

At the time of Catching’s death, he was the third inmate to die.

A total of five inmates died in 2019 at the St. Louis County Jail.

The county conducted an internal affairs investigation after these deaths and it concluded jail staff could have done more to prevent them.

News 4 reached out to county officials for a comment and we’re waiting to hear back.

After the onslaught of inmate deaths, county officials did make changes. County Executive Sam Page appointed a Justice Service Advisory Board to oversee the justice center.

They also terminated employees who violated protocols. They initiated more communications between ER doctors and jail doctors and made changes to communication procedures between nurses and corrections officers.

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