Stillwater News Press

May 25, 2013

Payne County Jail’s healthcare provider settles suit over inmate’s death

By Russell Hixson
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Payne County Jail’s inmate care provider, has settled with an inmate’s family for an undisclosed sum.

Ron and Thora duBois sued the county, jail and jail’s healthcare provider last year after their son, Peter duBois, committed suicide in the jail. The petition argued he wasn’t properly treated for drug withdrawal symptoms while incarcerated.

Jail Administrator Reese Lane and Sheriff R.B. Hauf were deemed not responsible for the death by the court after they filed motions for summary judgment.

The court’s ruling stated that it could not establish that the sheriff had notice of a high risk of suicide due to opiate withdrawal or that the sheriff consciously chose to disregard that risk.

Peter duBois was arrested July 13, 2010, after a car wreck. He was driving to Tulsa to enter a drug treatment program, the suit says. He was arrested for failing to appear in Payne County District Court on a felony charge of obtaining or attempting to obtain drugs by forgery or fraud, the suit says.

He committed suicide by throwing himself over a jail railing later that month while incarcerated. His parents filed suit in Jan. 2012.

Ron duBois said he may use the settlement money to make a donation in his son’s name. He said he is still considering further legal action. He added that his goal in the case was to try and change the attitudes and notions in Oklahoma regarding drug addiction and treatment.