Lawsuit alleges HIV-positive inmate died after being denied medication at Northern California jail

Jan 22, 2024, 2:55 PM

PLACERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A lawsuit filed by the family of a man who died after being held in a Northern California jail alleges he contracted a preventable viral infection there when its medical staff denied him critical HIV medication for two months.

When Nicholas Overfield was arrested in Feb. 2022 for a failure to appear in court, he informed officers that he was HIV-positive and required antiretroviral medication to keep the virus in check, according to the court filing.

His mother, Lesley Overfield, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, handed the arresting officers her son’s prescribed medication but he was never administered it, the filing says.

“Medical records show that he was denied his prescribed HIV medication for the entire two months he was detained,” the lawsuit alleges.

Overfield’s health deteriorated rapidly as his HIV “devolved into AIDS” and he was eventually released from jail and hospitalized, according to court documents. He died while under hospice care on June 21, 2022.

The civil lawsuit filed Jan. 16 in U.S. District Court names El Dorado County and the jail’s contracted healthcare provider, Wellpath Community Care. It demands a jury trial and seeks unspecified damages.

Officials with the county and Wellpath didn’t immediately reply on Monday to emails seeking comment on the allegations.

The lawsuit says when Lesley Overfield visited her son on April 22, 2022, he “was so unwell and so diminished that he could not even speak to his mother.” She demanded “the jail provide Nick with the medical care he clearly needed” and he was rushed to a hospital that same evening, according to the filing.

“Defendants were either unaware of or, worse, ignoring the severity of Nick’s general health and medical condition until they were forced to confront those things by his mother,” the lawsuit says.

Overfield’s death certificate said he died of encephalitis “and indicated that Nick contracted this virus two months prior to his death,” while he was in custody, according to court documents.

United States News

Associated Press

Rail bridge collapses during Midwest flooding as a heat wave persists across much of the US

Millions of Americans sweated through a scorching weekend as temperatures soared across the U.S., while residents were rescued from floodwaters that forced evacuations across the Midwest. One person died during flooding in South Dakota, the governor said. From the mid-Atlantic to Maine, across the Great Lakes region, and throughout the West to California, public officials […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

3 Columbia University administrators put on leave over alleged text exchange at antisemitism panel

NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia University said it has placed three administrators on leave while it investigates allegations that they exchanged unprofessional text messages while attending a panel discussion about antisemitism on campus. The university said the administrators work for its undergraduate Columbia College, which hosted the panel discussion “Jewish Life on Campus: Past, Present […]

15 hours ago

Associated Press

Man charged in shooting that critically wounded Philadelphia officer, police say

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 36-year-old Philadelphia man was charged Sunday with attempted murder in connection with a shooting that critically wounded a police officer after a traffic stop, police said. Ramon Rodriguez Vazquez also faces charges that include aggravated assault and home invasion, police said. The 31-year-old officer and his partner stopped a car carrying […]

16 hours ago

Associated Press

California boy, 4, who disappeared from campground found safe after 22 hours alone in wilderness

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A 4-year-old California boy who wandered away from a campground in the Sierra National Forest was found safe after spending 22 hours alone in the wilderness, authorities said. A search-and-rescue team of about 50 officers and volunteers set out around 11 a.m. Thursday after the child was reported missing from the […]

18 hours ago

Associated Press

One man died and five others were hospitalized in downtown St. Louis shooting

ST. LOUIS (AP) — One man is dead and five others have been wounded in a downtown St. Louis shooting, police said. Police believe women were fighting in a park when men interfered and drew firearms, according to social media posts from the agency. The man who died was in his mid-twenties, police said. Five […]

18 hours ago

Associated Press

Michigan sheriff’s deputy fatally shot pursuing a stolen vehicle in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan county sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot while pursing a suspected stolen vehicle in Detroit, the Oakland County sheriff’s office said Sunday. Bradley J. Reckling, who was on duty in an unmarked car, was following a 2022 Chevy Equinox Saturday evening after the vehicle was reported stolen earlier in the day […]

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Lawsuit alleges HIV-positive inmate died after being denied medication at Northern California jail