POSTED: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Sunday, May 5, 2013 - 2:51pm
Longview, TX (Longview News-Journal) — Lawyers for Gregg County and the survivors of a woman who died in jail there will take a last-ditch shot at resolving the wrongful death dispute today in Tyler.
U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap ordered today’s third attempt at mediation between the county and the family of Amy Lynn Cowling after seating a jury for a Jan. 22 trial.
Cowling’s mother and three children are suing Gregg County for unspecified damages claiming Cowling’s civil rights were denied when she was not allowed access to prescription drugs she brought to the jail.
Cowling was 33 when she died in a separation cell on Dec. 28, 2010.
A recovering opiate addict, Cowling was under care of the methadone clinic in Tyler when she was arrested on Dec. 24, 2010. Her filing in federal court says she was carrying separate prescriptions for Xanax and Seroquel, anti-anxiety drugs used to ease the symptoms of withdrawal while taking methadone.
The mother of three exhibited a deteriorating condition during the 111 hours she was in jail, according to the plaintiffs. That included seizures, inability to communicate and extended periods of moaning or howling, the suit says.
Eight jurors were selected this past week for the trial. In ordering the mediation, Gilstrap set Friday as a deadline.