On Sept.23, 2012, Randolph Wiggins, 30, collapsed in his cell at the Beaufort County Detention Center. He died the next day.
Now, just over five years later, a wrongful death suit set to go to trial the week of Oct. 30.
The suit, initially filed in December of 2013 and amended in 2015, names Beaufort County and Southern Health Partners Inc. as defendants.
The suit is being brought by Marilyn and Ronald Stewart, identified in the document as Wiggins’ parents, who are suing for negligence, gross negligence, negligent hiring and supervision and loss of affection in addition to wrongful death. They are also suing Southern Health Partners for medical malpractice.
On Sept. 23, 2012, the suit alleges, Wiggins collapsed and was left on the ground by Detention Center staff for 12 minutes. When discovered, the suit says that medical assistance was not immediately given.
Wiggins was suffering from a number of medical issues at the time of his confinment, according to the suit, among them alcoholism. A medical screening by Southern Health Partners two days after he was detained revealed him to be paranoid, agitated and diaphoretic, the suit alleges, saying that he had been given the drugs Cogentin and Haldol by staff to relieve agitation the day before the collapse, and was also restrained and placed on suicide watch.
The suit alleges that at no time was Wiggins referred to a doctor during this period, and that a lack of proper medical care during detoxification, which he was undergoing at the time, can lead to life threatening conditions. Those conditions ultimately led to Wiggins’ collapse according to the suit, which claims that failure to address them or to promptly render medical care after his collapse led ultimately to his death.
A representative for Beaufort County said the county could not comment on pending litigation.
Multiple telephone calls for comment from Southern Health Partners went unanswered.
Wiggins was jailed on Sept. 20, 2012 on charges of aggravated criminal domestic violence, according to the suit. He died the morning of Sept. 24.