In another setback for the sister of Roosevelt Pernell Jr., her wrongful-death lawsuit against Columbus and Lowndes County was thrown out Wednesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Deborah P. Simmons, of Michigan, filed the lawsuit, which had already been dismissed in U.S. District Court on April 27, 2010, after her brother died of internal brain bleeding Feb. 22, 2007 at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus.
The appeals court upheld that decision, finding that there was no proof that the city, county or police officers acted wrongly.
Pernell had been arrested for public drunkenness the day before at the Chanticleer Apartments, according to court documents. He later tested positive for cocaine and ecstasy, and had fallen “face first on the concrete floor” before officers arrived, a resident said then.
He later declined medical treatment for a swollen jaw and eye. The bleeding in his brain was “invisible,” according to court records.
Preceding Pernell in death was his son, Roosevelt “Squirt” Pernell III, a police informant who was killed with a sniper rifle in 2003. Robert Rupert, 39, was charged with capital murder for the alleged murder-for-hire hit.