2/24/2016 6:30 p.m.
The Post and Courier reported that Joyce Curnell, 50, died last summer in Charleston County jail because she was deprived of water, according to her family’s attorneys.
Curnell, a resident of Edisto Island, was found dead in her cell on July 22. According to court documents filed this week, Curnell spent 27 hours in her cell before dying. She grew progressively weaker and vomited multiple times. Too weak to go to the bathroom, jail staff reportedly handed her a trash bag.
Curnell’s family filed notice today to sue Charleston County jail’s medical contractor, Carolina Center for Occupational Health, for malpractice. The family is claiming that the medical staff on hand ignored jail staff’s requests that they attend to Curnell. They also have expert opinion from an area doctor attesting that Curnell’s death could have been prevented if she had been treated for gastroenteritis and dehydration.
Anytime an inmate dies in custody, the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) conducts an investigation and files a report. The Post and Courier has filed a South Carolina Freedom of Information Act request for the report but SLED officials did not turn it over.
Also, James Brantley, 63, died last week in police custody. The inmate died on Thursday, Feb. 18 after complaining of chest pains. Brantley was treated by medical personnel and transported to Medical University Hospital. SLED is currently investigating the death.