Family Of Deceased Carroll County Inmate Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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Photo of Donelson courtesy of her son.

CARROLL COUNTY (KFSM) — The family of a woman who died in the Carroll County Jail in 2014 has reached a settlement with the county after filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Records show Sylvia Donelson, 47, died in the Carroll County Jail on November 11, 2014. Her son, Lucas Poyner, and daughter, Ashley Chuc, said jail employees could have done more to save her life.

In August of 2015 they filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a jail nurse and several deputies.

Donelson’s cause of death was atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease with bipolar disorder listed as a contributing cause, according to her autopsy report.

On the morning of her death, Donelson had not eaten or drank for 24 hours and continued to be unresponsive, according to the lawsuit. During the course of the day, the jail nurse and several deputies found Donelson in a puddle of her own urine and put a piece of sandwich in her mouth, which was still there six hours later, the lawsuit states. The nurse and an EMT, who was called in from Carroll County Regional Medical Center, both found Donelson’s vitals to be normal, but she was never taken to a hospital until deputies found her without a pulse, the lawsuit states.

Steven Vowell filed the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the Donelson family claiming the nurse and deputies did not do enough to help their mother.

As part of the settlement, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office will admit no guilt in Donelson’s death.

The family settled for an undisclosed amount of money.