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  • Vance family sues Cleveland County over son’s death

    Vance family sues Cleveland County over son’s death

    On April 26, 2016, Norman resident Austin Vance was found dancing in the street, hallucinating.  When law enforcement arrived on the scene, Vance admitted to the responding officers he had taken the prescription drug, Adderall. He was 22 years old at the time of his death.

    The Medical Examiner’s officer ruled Vance’s death accidental. A Norman Transcript article published in July 2016 reported the examiner’s findings, saying “Vance died of complications of methamphetamine toxicity, and his death was ruled an accident.”

    Emergency Room physicians at Norman Regional Hospital declared Vance fit for incarceration. He was taken into custody at the Cleveland County Detention Center where he soon died of cardiac arrest.

    A lawsuit filed March 6 2017 in the Cleveland County District Courts states, “At the time of his incarceration, Austin Vance, deceased, was restrained to a chair for an unknown amount of time and hooded.”

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    The petition claims emergency room physicians failed to perform any “meaningful evaluation to assess his mental health condition and diagnosis.”

    The petition says arresting agencies were aware of Vance’s medical conditions through their agencies, employees and the City of Norman Police Department.

    Defendants named in the lawsuit are Sheriff Joseph Lester, “Jon Doe” Emergency Room room physicians, Cleveland County Board of Commissioners, and Norman Regional Hospital.

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