$1.3M settlement in Snohomish County Jail death claim

EVERETT, Wash. -- The family of a woman who died of a lung infection at the Snohomish County Jail has settled a damage claim for $1.3 million.

Lyndsey Lason was 27 when she died in her cell in 2011, 13 days after she was arrested on misdemeanor warrants alleging theft and prostitution.

After complaining about breathing problems, jail records show she was given stool softeners and muscle relaxants. The Snohomish County medical examiner told detectives that an X-ray would have found lung abscesses. Forensic pathologist Carl Wigren told KOMO 4 that the complacency of the jail medical staff and the corrections officers resulted in Lason's death.

Everett lawyer Royce Ferguson says Lason's family pressed for jail improvements as well as compensation for her son, now 11.

"She said, 'I need help, I can't breathe, I need an x-ray, could you help?' And essentially she was ignored," he said.

A written agreement signed this week outlines many changes already made at the jail, including hiring a doctor, reducing the daily population and increasing nurses' salaries.

Ferguson wants more improvement in order to prevent future deaths and to take the tab away from the taxpayer.

"They didn't find Lyndsay in a cell. She didn't just die. They watched her die," he said.