CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

$10 million awarded to Utah mom after daughter’s death in Davis County Jail

Jul 28, 2022, 9:54 AM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:20 am

Image of the Davis County Jail communication area. Officials have an inmate back in custody at the ...

FILE: A section of the Davis County Jail where inmates communicate with visitors is pictured at the facility in Farmington on Thursday, March 18, 2021. Officials have an inmate back in custody at the Davis County jail after he was inadvertently released to his mother on Tuesday. The Utah Department of Corrections said Joseph Armijo is now back behind bars. (Steve Griffin/Deseret News.)

(Steve Griffin/Deseret News.)

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — A jury has awarded a Utah mom $10 million after siding with her in a lawsuit against the Davis County Jail. The plaintiff claimed that the jail failed to provide medical care to a 28-year-old, resulting in her death.

Cynthia Stella filed the lawsuit in 2018 after her daughter, 28-year-old Heather Miller, died from a ruptured spleen in 2016.

Last Friday, a jury found that the jail’s nurse, Mavin Anderson, violated Miller’s rights for “denying and delaying” her medical care. The jury also found that Davis County violated Miller’s rights by not properly training staff and not having nursing protocols.

The lawsuit claimed that Miller fell from her top bunk at the jail and ruptured her spleen. Though Miller had expressed she was in severe pain and couldn’t walk, jail staff did not provide medical care or take her vitals.

It wasn’t until several hours later that she was taken to the hospital. Miller died that night.

Davis County Sheriff Kelly Sparks responded to the outcome of the lawsuit and said the county will continue to find ways to improve the level of service and medical care.

Related: Salt Lake City Police announce the closure of a 48-year-old cold case

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$10 million awarded to Utah mom after daughter’s death in Davis County Jail