Lawsuit filed after woman dies in JeffCo jail

Posted at 7:35 AM, Dec 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-17 09:35:05-05

Family members of a woman who died at the Jefferson County jail while awaiting medical treatment are suing the county and jail deputies they say scoffed at her pleas for help.

The Denver Post reports the lawsuit was filed on behalf of 38-year-old Jennifer Lobato, who died March 2 of opiate withdrawal, says seven deputies ignored signs of her illness for 12 hours until her death.

Lobato was arrested for shoplifting March 1 and reported feeling ill the following day. She was scheduled to be seen during routine medical rounds that evening, but she stopped breathing before she could be seen by a medical professional.

According to an internal investigation, a deputy who saw Lobato vomiting said something to the effect of "that's why you shouldn't do drugs."

The county coroner's office said Lobato suffered cardiac arrest in her cell because of repeated vomiting.

Six Jefferson County sheriff's jail deputies were issued written reprimands about the March death.

Sheriff Jeff Shrader said then that policies have been changed since the death, including faster medical response time.