Inmate Heat Deaths

Extreme Heat Conditions in Texas Prisons

You expect that people serving sentences in the Texas prison system will be treated humanely during their sentence. But what if that isn’t the case? In Texas, over 70% of the prison facilities do not have air conditioning in housing areas. Many inmates suffer in temperatures that sometimes reach over 130 degrees. Inmates die and are injured every year because of heat stroke, hyperthermia, and other heat-related diseases. If your relative has died in prison or you have suffered a heat-related injury while incarcerated, contact us at Guest and Gray Law Firm about a wrongful death or cruel and unusual punishment claim. Our compassionate and understanding team will find the responsible party and hold them accountable for your harm and loss.

Recent Lawsuits

In 2012, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard a case filed by an inmate who had served a sentence at the Garza East Unit in Beeville for a parole violation. During that time he was in an unit without air conditioning and suffered from headaches, nausea, blurred visions, and other precursor symptoms of heat stroke. Evidence presented in the case led the Court to state that extreme heat was an obvious health risk and that prison employees were “deliberately indifferent” to the health risks of incarcerated individuals. The Court ruled that extreme heat can violate a Texas inmate’s 8th Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment. The lawsuit was later settled in favor of the inmate.

In 2013, the families of four inmates who died of heat-related illness brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the University of Texas Medical Branch. The lawsuit alleges that the inmates died due to extreme heat while serving prison sentences for nonviolent crimes in the Gurney facility near Tennessee Colony and the Hodge facility near Rusk. The inmates had prior medical conditions that made them more likely to be harmed by high temperatures, but a common condition should not turn a prison sentence into a death sentence. The lawsuit also states that in the past 5 years, 14 inmates across Texas died in prison from heat-related illness.

How Much Will it Cost to Hire the Guest and Gray Law Firm Team for My Case?

We have offices in Forney, Kaufman, and Rockwall. If you cannot come in to meet us, we may be able to visit you at home. When you call today for a free confidential consultation, we will evaluate your situation and help you decide your next step. Because we work on a contingent fee agreement, we don’t get paid unless you receive compensation. That means that our services are free if you don’t recover.

Contact Us

If you think you might have a wrongful death claim or cruel and unusual punishment claim involving an inmate, it is important that you choose the best law firm for your case. Guest and Gray Law Firm the largest and best-reviewed wrongful death law firm in Kaufman County; our team has over thirty years of combined experience representing families in wrongful death actions. We understand your rights, sympathize with your case, and have the experience to make sure that the people who harmed you or your loved one are held responsible for their actions.