After a man died from alcohol withdrawal and heart failure while incarcerated in a Florida jail, his representatives brought a wrongful death claim against several different parties. The deceased, through his representatives of course, alleged deliberate indifference, wrongful death, and excessive use of force. The defendants filed motions to dismiss these claims. At this point, in order for the case to move forward, the plaintiff only needs to prove that the claims he charged are sufficient on their face to make a claim against the parties. In other words, if the court takes all of the facts alleged by the plaintiff as true, the parties would be guilty of the violations alleged. In court the actual facts will be determined.
In order for a deliberate indifference claim to stand, a plaintiff needs to prove that there were “acts or omissions sufficiently harmful to evidence deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.” Essentially, a plaintiff needs to prove that the care or response they received was so bad that it constituted a wanton and unnecessary infliction of pain. This is a much higher standard than the standard for something like medical malpractice, which just requires negligence. For deliberate indifference the plaintiff also must prove that the people who acted cruelly were aware that there was a substantial risk of harm.