The family members of Marconia Kessee, who died after being discharged from Norman Regional Hospital, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital.
Kessee went to the emergency room at Norman Regional Hospital in January 2018 for a headache. Once he was treated for the headache, he was discharged from the hospital. However, he wouldn’t leave the premises. Kessee was then taken into custody by police for trespassing.
“Mr. Kessee was seen by an emergency medical provider in our emergency department and discharged in stable condition. Based on his condition at discharge, he was deemed fit for incarceration,” a statement by Norman Regional Health System read. “Each person who seeks treatment in our emergency department is cared for specific to their condition and what medical needs they have.”
When Kessee was taken to the Cleveland County Jail, he was put in a padded cell after he allegedly attempted to hurt himself. He was found unresponsive in his cell and rushed to the hospital where he died.
When police officers came to the hospital earlier, they were allegedly told by a security guard that Kessee has been diagnosed with a mental health disorder and has to take medication. He told the officers that he already took some of the medication, but wasn’t sure how much.
The lawsuit says that officers “observed Kessee convulsing, shaking, and lacking in basic coordination, such that a reasonable officer under the circumstances would have been aware of the probability that Kessee was suffering from drug overdose, mental illness and/or physical illness that required immediate medical attention.”
The lawsuit also claims that the officers accused Kessee of faking his condition and told him he was acting like a fool.
“Citizens of Norman, Oklahoma, including and especially those who suffer from mental health issues, have a right to expect the police officers entrusted to protect them and look out for their safety will seek medical attention for those citizens who exhibit confusion, convulsions, incoordination, spasms, tremors, and difficulty speaking and walking,” the lawsuit states.
The family is asking for punitive damages from the lawsuit and seeks a jury trial.