Families of two deceased Forsyth County inmates settle lawsuits

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Jen McCormack, who was struggling with an opioid addiction, died suddenly after 16 days in the Forsyth County jail. (courtesy photo)

The families of Dino Vann Nixon and Jennifer McCormack Schuler, two former inmates who died either in custody or in a hospital after a medical emergency at the Forsyth County jail, have settled their cases.

McCormack died at Baptist Hospital in 2014 after undergoing a heart attack during a two-week jail stay while awaiting trial on charges of prescription-drug fraud. She had recently detoxed from the opioid medication Oxycodone and was pregnant at the time. The lawsuit filed by McCormack’s estate alleged that she died as result of the nursing staff failing to provide her with Zofran, an anti-nausea medication, leading to her inability to take other medications.

John Vermitsky, one of the lawyers from McCormack’s estate, confirmed to Triad City Beat that McCormack’s family agreed to settle the case for unspecified financial damages, and release defendants — including medical provider Correct Care Solutions and two employees, Registered Nurse Miriam Cornatzer Hauser and Nurse Practitioner Emma Aycoth — from further liability.

“I can confirm that it’s settled to the mutual satisfaction of all parties,” Vermitsky said. He added that McCormack’s family members would not be able to comment.

Dino Vann Nixon, who was in jail on a charge of drug trafficking, died in custody in 2013. The medical examiner’s report attributed Nixon’s death to withdrawal from benzodiazepine, an anti-anxiety medication marketed as Xanax. Defendants in the case, including Correct Care Solutions and Forsyth County, disputed the medical examiner’s report. On Dec. 14, the Forsyth County Commission voted to pay Nixon’s widow, Diane Nixon, $180,000 “to fully and finally resolve” the case, while stating in a resolution that the payout doesn’t constitute an admission of wrongdoing.

Two inmates, Stephen Antwon Patterson and Deshawn Lamont Coley, also died in the Forsyth County jail in May 2017 from health-related causes. In July, the Forsyth County Commission approved a $13.2 million contract extension with Correct Care Solutions.

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