Macomb County sued again over death of a jail inmate

Ed White
Associated Press

Detroit — Macomb County, already facing a highly publicized lawsuit over the death of a jail inmate, is being sued again in a separate death of a woman who had an infection that shut down her organs.

Jennifer Meyers, 37, died in 2013 at the county jail from sepsis. A lawsuit filed last week in federal court said she showed signs of rapidly deteriorating health and had a history of problems that were disclosed to medical staff, including heroin use, mental illness and hepatitis C.

Other inmates reported foul smells from Meyers’ cell and said she was too weak to get food on her own, according to the lawsuit.

“All you need to do is send her to the hospital. What’s so complicated about that?” attorney Harold Perakis said in an interview Monday.

“We have numerous statements from inmates that suggest that during her entire 10 days in jail she was suffering these circumstances,” he said. “But magically when she sees the staff they claim that she was fine and all that she was complaining about was a backache.”

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham declined comment and referred questions to the county’s attorney.

County attorney John Schapka declined to comment on what happened to Meyers, but said the county “would vigorously defend itself and its personnel.”

The lawsuit on behalf of Meyers’ estate is based partly on interviews conducted by the county during its own review of her death. Perakis claims her constitutional rights were violated by the county, the sheriff, various unidentified deputies and a private health care company that works at the jail.

Meyers’ death occurred a year before the death of another inmate, Daniel Stojcevski, 32. Perakis said he suffered extraordinary weight loss and serious withdrawals from drug use while in custody for 16 days, some of it recorded on video.

A lawsuit filed by Stojcevski’s family is pending. The FBI investigated but no charges were filed.

Detroit News Staff Writer Nicquel Terry contributed.