HOUSTON (CN) – Two prison guards at Huntsville beat an inmate so savagely they broke his neck in two places, and prison medics then treated him so negligently they let him lie paralyzed for two days, soiling himself, before transferring him to a hospital, where he died, the late Larry Cox’s brother claims in Federal Court. Cox says guards let his paralyzed brother suffer without painkillers for two days because he was unable to get up and walk to his cell door to get them.
Cecil Cox sued jail guards Santiago Garcia and Jason Harper, as individuals and in their official capacities, and the State of Texas, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and the University of Texas medical Branch-Texas Department of Justice Hospital.
Garcia and Harper allegedly beat Larry Cox “sadistically,” while he was “in hand restraints” on Jan. 3, 2007. “(T)hey repeatedly slammed Larry Cox’s head into his metal bunk and locker,” breaking two vertebrae in his neck, the complaint states.
UTMB medics stitched up his face but didn’t even determine that his neck was broken, the complaint states.
“Over the next two days, Larry Louis Cox lay motionless on his mattress in the holding cell and was forced to urinate and defecate on himself due to his inability to move as a result of the severe neck injury he sustained and defendants TDJC and UTMB’s failure to provide adequate medical care,” the complaint states. “(P)ain relievers were not administered to him because he could not get up off his mattress and walk to his cell door to retrieve them from defendant UTMB medical personnel.”
After “two days of excruciating pain,” he was taken to UTMB, where he died on Feb. 6, 2007.
Cecil Cox says the prison’s de facto policy is to administer, or fail to administer, such negligent medical treatment, and to fail to supervise its guards. He demands damages for assault and battery and violations of the Constitution and the Ku Klux Klan Act. He is represented by Christopher Gale of San Antonio.