HOUSTON (KTRK) --The parents of a man who died following his time in the Harris County Jail have filed a federal lawsuit claiming jailers and staff were negligent and denied their son medical attention.
Patrick Green died March 24th of last year. One minute shy of his 28th birthday. "I think about him all the time," said his mother Kathryn Green.
Green was in jail, awaiting transfer to prison after pleading guilty to felony delivery of heroin. He'd been in jail for nearly four months. His parents and their attorney say he somehow contracted bacterial meningitis in the days leading up to his death. "Patrick had accepted the consequences of his actions," his mother said.
According to the suit, Green began showing signs of illness at least two days prior to his death. Eyewitnesses allegedly claimed he was at times incoherent, other times lying motionless and refusing to eat or work. The suit claims other inmates attempted to alert guards that something was wrong and that nothing was done until it was too late.
"When you go to the third largest jail in the United States, it should not be a death sentence," said the Green family attorney, Randall Kallinen.
They claim the guards simply ignored Green's failing health. The pod in which Green was housed was filthy, according to the suit, citing conditions including an "orange and yellowish" grime in showers and "mold like" material coating air vents.
David Green says his son's death - and maybe others - could've been prevented. "We are concerned about the level of conscious disregard that has occurred not only with Patrick but other people that have come after him," he said.
Neither the Harris County Sheriff's Office nor the county itself were willing to respond to these allegations today.
Former Sheriff Adrian Garcia fired six employees and suspended 29 others last April following the mistreatment of a mentally ill inmate. The case of Terry Goodwin was first brought to light by whistleblowers with shared with Eyewitness News photos taken from inside Goodwin's cell, showing it full of trash, swarms of bugs and piles of feces.