Feds will investigate Snohomish County Jail after 7 inmate deaths

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EVERETT — In November 2011, Lyndsey Lason, 27, was booked into the Snohomish County Jail.  A week and a half later, she died in her cell.

Medical records show Lason died from suffocating after her lungs collapsed. Her family’s attorney says Lason had been complaining of chest pain for days.

“Lyndsey noticed something was wrong day one and she was asking for medical help, including X-rays. She told medical staff she was having hard time breathing and pushed her emergency button several times. She actually saw a nurse and the nurse said, ‘Good luck with that cough’ and took off,” said attorney Royce Ferguson, who has filed a $10 million wrongful death claim on behalf of Lason’s family.


Last summer, 22-year-old Michael Saffioti died after being served a meal containing dairy; he was highly allergic to dairy products.

“I know my son tried to get help and he was ignored. I know that he wouldn’t have died had he gotten help,” said Rose Saffioti.

Five other inmates have died in the Snohomish County Jail in the past three years, and now the feds are coming to investigate.

“If there are things that can improve, we want to know that and try to improve them,” said Shari Iverton of  the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.  “Having an outside third party do this can be one of the best things to help make those decisions.”

The National Institute of Corrections will take a thorough look at policies and procedures and interview a wide range of people at the jail, including deputies, inmates and medical staff.

Ferguson says he is hopeful the NIC review will make the Snohomish County Jail a safer place for inmates.

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  • holdeninwa

    No situation in America requires an individual to waive #civil & #Constitutional rights, even when one finds him or herself in jail. We all deserve our dignity. I've read about the deaths of people under the care & supervision of Snohomish County jail personnel over the past several months. Very scary. Utter incompetence, dead Americans & no investigation by the county– or state! This is not 1950 when law enforcement can bully, neglect, mistreat The People they are supposed to be protecting from harm- and get away with it. Let's stop using scarce tax dollars paying for corruption & ineptitude. Time for change.

    • Mitch

      That is a racist thing to say. Why is it that someone ALWAYS says something stupid like this? and why is it okay to let people die because they have white skin?????

  • Carl Constantine

    The nurse needs to be fired and the state needs to pay $10 million dollars for allowing a beautiful young woman to die while crying out for help. This is absolutely unacceptable!

    • Michek

      You are right. the amazing thing is that it hasn't happened more. They totally ignore their inmates, especially the one who cry out for help. And they feed the inmates garbage, not to mention that it is freezing cold in there – and oh, you get to have guards watch you while you are on the toilet. It's inhumane.

  • Mickey Mouse

    It's about friggin' time. That jail is freezing cold, worse than a freezer. And the food doesn't even look like food. I would feed it to a fly. And.. if you're on prescription medication, they don't even let you have it so you go through withdrawals. the itchy wool blankets smell like poo and pee. and, although it's not life-threatening, anyone can watch you while you're on the toilet. And the women guards are MEAN MEAN MEAN!!! Except for one, whose name escapes me now. The rest of them are horrible. It's cruel and unusual punishment for sure. Why should convicted murderers be the only ones who have rights???

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