Family sues after MA woman dies in police custody, claiming officers ignored medical issue

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The lawsuit claims police officers ignored her request for help, thinking she was just "dope sick"

Madelyn Linsenmeir, Vermont, Massachusetts police custody death

Linsenmeir family via CNN Newsource

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WKBN) – The family of Madelyn Ellen Linsenmeir, a Vermont woman who died while in Massachusetts state custody in 2018, is suing.

The 30-year-old died after her family said she did not receive appropriate medical care while in custody.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts says Springfield police interpreted her medical problems as being “dope sick.”

Surveillance footage obtained by the ACLU shows Linsenmeier limping into the department and complaining of chest pain, saying she can’t breathe.

The lawsuit claims she had an infection in a heart valve, which is common in IV drug abusers. The condition can be successfully treated with antibiotics or surgery.

The family said Linsenmeir’s request for help was ignored until it was too late.

The Springfield Police Department is investigating the matter but had no comment on the lawsuit.

An obituary about Linsenmeir’s struggle with opioid addiction went viral this fall.

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