KRMF lawyers have filed in a federal court in Harrisburg a civil rights wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of Tiombe Carlos, who committed suicide in October 2013 while held in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the York County Prison. Ms. Carlos was 34 years old when she died.
As reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ms. Carlos had a long history of psychiatric illness, and her need for intensive treatment was well known to the mental health staff at the Prison. Indeed, Ms. Carlos attempted to commit suicide in August 2013 before she was stopped by correctional officers. Even after this attempt, though, as the civil rights suit alleges, mental health staff ignored several obvious warning signs that Ms. Carlos was a serious risk to kill herself. She did so just two months after the August attempt.
The suit has been brought against, among others, York County and a private company, PrimeCare, Inc., which contracts with York County to provide all medical and mental health services in the Prison. PrimeCare holds contracts in several county correctional facilities throughout Pennsylvania. The case marks the fourth suit since 2014 which KRMF lawyers have brought against PrimeCare alleging that improper medical or mental health treatment led to the death of a prisoner in the care of PrimeCare staff. The previously filed cases include Schnee v. County of Berks (improper mental health care leading to suicide), Tarnoski v. County of Berks (failure to treat cardiac condition leading to death), and Lopez v. Bucks County (failure to treat heroin detox leading to death).