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Family of Amy Cowling Sues Gregg County

Posted/updated on: June 10, 2011 at 8:36 am
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MARSHALL — The family of a woman who died in the Gregg County Jail files a federal lawsuit against the county, claiming she was denied proper medical attention. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by Amy Lynn Cowling’s family on behalf of her three children, alleges her constitutional rights were violated. The lawsuit comes less than six months after her death in the Gregg County Jail and in the same week that another inmate, Micah Aaron Garner, died in the same facility. Cowling, 33, was pronounced dead Dec. 29 at a Longview hospital.

Her official cause of death was ruled “probable” seizure due to methadone and Xanax withdrawal by a Tyler pathologist in March. A second opinion was sought in the ruling because the justice of the peace said he wasn’t happy with Cowling’s cause of death being ruled “probable,” because the manner of death was left up to him to determine.

The second opinion, by a Tarrant County pathologist, resulted in Justice of the Peace B.H. Jameson ruling her manner of death as “undetermined” and closed the books despite the pathologist’s recommendation to leave the books open and call the death “suspicious.” Her cause of death was then officials ruled “probable” seizures due to methadone and Xanax withdrawal.The lawsuit claims Gregg County officials failed to provide proper medical treatment to Cowling “by failing to protect her and through indifference to her medical needs.”

It also claims the county ignored Cowling’s constitutional rights and failed to implement the policies, procedures and practices “necessary to provide constitutionally adequate medical services to Cowling during her incarceration in the Gregg County Jail.”

Robert Davis, an attorney who represents the county and Sheriff Maxey Cerliano, disputed the allegations.

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