The parents of a 20-year-old Texarkana woman who died in the Bi-State jail this summer after a nurse allegedly refused to treat her filed a lawsuit Friday in federal court.
Morgan Angerbauer’s blood sugar level was over 800 when she died of ketoacidosis July 1, according to a civil complaint filed on behalf of the woman’s parents in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Blood sugar is considered in a normal range when it falls between 70 and 110.
Licensed Vocational Nurse Brittany Johnson, 26, who started her overnight shift at about 5 p.m. June 30, is facing a criminal charge of misdemeanor negligent homicide in Miller County in connection with Angerbauer’s death. Johnson allegedly refused to check Angerbauer’s blood sugar the evening of June 30 despite multiple high blood sugar readings since Angerbauer was booked in the afternoon of June 28. According to the criminal complaint filed by Little Rock attorney Matthew Campbell, a jail trusty noticed Angerbauer unconscious on the floor of her medical observation cell around 4 a.m. July 1.
Johnson allegedly placed sugar, or glucose, in Angerbauer’s mouth after receiving readings of “E-3” on the jail’s blood sugar monitor. According to the complaint, the reading meant the sugar level was extremely high and the glucose Johnson allegedly gave Angerbauer was the opposite of what she needed.
The suit alleges the investigation conducted by LaSalle Corrections, the private company that oversees management of the jail and is responsible for coordinating medical care for inmates, was inadequate. Defendants in the suit include Johnson; Johnson’s supervisor Regina Lynch, a registered nurse; LaSalle Corrections; Rodney Cooper, LaSalle Corrections Executive Director of Texas operations; Pat Temple, co-founder and managing director; William McConnell, co-founder and Managing Director; Regional Warden Chris Bell and Bi-State jail Warden Robert Page.
The lawsuit seeks damages for Angerbauer’s pain and suffering and for the family’s loss of a loved one and their suffering and mental anguish. The complaint asks for punitive damages as well. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III.