Mother charges negligence in asthma death

December 01, 1998|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

The mother of a 22-year-old man who died of an asthma attack at the Howard County Detention Center this summer has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that jail officials did not provide her son with his medication.

Jail officials declined to comment on the lawsuit in the death in June of Parrish Michael Spinoso of Ellicott City, but Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker said the jail did nothing wrong.

"I have every confidence that our people at the detention center did everything correctly," said Ecker, who was notified of the lawsuit yesterday.

The suit, filed last week in U.S. District Court by Spinoso's mother, Carol Lee Spinoso, seeks $10 million in damages. She could not be reached for comment yesterday, but her lawyer, Marvin Ellin, said the jail was negligent by not providing Spinoso with his inhaler or asthma medication.

"Had this young man been given his medication, steroids, inhaler, there would be no suit filed," Ellin said.

Spinoso was arrested June 5 on drug distribution charges. He spent the weekend in jail and died about 6: 30 a.m. June 7.

The lawsuit alleges that jail officials knew about Spinoso's serious asthma condition but withheld his medication, even after Spinoso suffered an asthma attack June 6.

Spinoso was taking four medications, including the inhaler, for his asthma condition, jail officials said in June. Spinoso had his inhaler with him in his cell, the officials said.

Pub Date: 12/01/98

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