Cody Laganiere's cause of death disputed after he was found dead in Olmsted County Jail
The family of Cody Patrick Laganiere is suing Olmsted County Jail after Laganiere was found dead in his cell in September of 2010, claiming negligence and a lethal prescription are to blame.
Patrick Laganiere, father of Cody Laganiere, claims the jail wasn't properly caring for his son and alleges the jail prescribed a lethal dose of methadone and failed to perform multiple routine welfare checks, which state law mandates every 30 minutes per inmate.
"I don't think they were doing what they were supposed to be doing," Laganiere's attorney Michael Bryant said.
Laganiere, 24, was locked up June 21, 2010 for violating his probation for a previous felony DUI. Mary Mauseth, the detention deputy who was responsible for Laganiere's welfare checks on Sept. 24, 2010, found him dead in his cell at 10:40 a.m.
Stacy Sinner, director of detention services at the jail, said that Laganiere's cause of death isn't necessarily due to the methadone.
Sinner said the coroner labeled Laganiere's an accidental death and that methadone was one of the contributing factors.
Bryant, the family's attorney, claims the dose of methadone prescribed was the cause of death.
"There are a number of different issues, but the main one is the amount [of methadone] he was given," Bryant said.
Per the complaint, Laganiere's cellmate said detention deputy Mauseth did not wake Laganiere up September 24 for the daily headcount or perform any kind of welfare check on him that morning.
Sinner said sometimes inmates at Olmsted don't comply with the headcount and that it wasn't unusual for Laganiere to be missing from the Sept. 24 headcount.
Although Laganiere died a year and half ago, his family filed the suit in mid-May. Bryant said there were many issues holding up filing the suit.
"One of them was we just found out about these other cases against Olmsted County Jail," Bryant said. "We didn't know about them until not too long ago."
In the past year, the jail has settled three cases totaling more than $2 million for one wrongful death lawsuit and two cases where the jail allegedly neglected the medical needs of inmates.
According to the complaint, Laganiere's family is suing for "substantially in excesses of" $75,000. A pretrial hearing in Laganiere's case is scheduled for July 31.
Attorneys representing Olmsted County could not be reached for comment.