orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

October 9, 2013

Lawsuit filed in death of inmate

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — A lawsuit has been filed by the family members of a man who died in 2011 while in custody at the Orange County Correctional Facility.

Family members of Robert Montano filed a lawsuit in Federal Court on Wednesday in Beaumont against Orange County and several individuals following his death inside the Orange County Correctional Facility on Oct. 12, 2011.

According to a previous story in the Oct. 13, 2011 edition of The Orange Leader, Montano had a “medical emergency” while being housed in the infirmary unit for observation. Medical personnel with Acadian Ambulance and the Orange Fire Department responded to the jail but were unsuccessful in their attempts to save Montano. He was pronounced dead by Derry Dunn, Orange County Justice of the Peace of Precinct 2.

Montano, 41, was arrested on a charge of public intoxication on Oct. 7, 2011 and was reportedly under the influence of bath salts. He was arrested at his residence in the 9900 block of Bessie Heights Road and transported to the jail, where he was placed in a medical observation cell for five days until his death, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states Montano, who was a known mental health patient, did not receive “basic human needs” consisting of medical and mental health care, food or water during his incarceration.

Texas Ranger Bobby Smith conducted an investigation into Montano’s death, which he closed on Dec. 5, 2011 and concurred with the medical examiner’s report that Montano died from “renal failure due to bath salts toxicity.” The lawsuit states the toxicology report makes no indication of illegal drugs being found in Montano’s system.

Along with Orange County, individuals listed as defendants in the lawsuit include Deputy Ted Townes, Barbara Glenn, LVN; Patricia Waters, LVN; Tiffani Dickerson, LVN; Susan Permenter, LVN; Lt. Kristi Williams and Sgt. Michael Lucia.