ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The family of an inmate who died at the Orange County Jail just days after his arrest is now suing
Max Gracia, 22, was arrested in 2015, accused of armed robbery and resisting an officer with violence. During that arrest on August 6, he was bitten repeatedly by an Orlando Police dog, according to the family's attorney. On August 10, Gracia was dead, which according to an autopsy, was the result of an E. coli infection.
Gracia was treated at Orlando Regional Medical Center following his arrest and then was released to the jail.
"While there, his injuries worsened and became infected solely due to the lack of care, compassion, treatment or concern of those attending to him," said Orlando attorney Mark NeJame. "As a result, infection and fever raged through his body while he moaned and cried for help."
According to an internal investigation at the jail, staff accused Gracia of faking or exaggerating his condition.
"Rather than treat and care for his injuries, he was unbelievably written up for 'malingering, feigning illness,'" NeJame said. "His pleas, as well as the pleas of fellow inmates, were callously ignored and he subsequently died."
Gracia's parents said the lawsuit is not about money but simply justice for her son and anyone else who winds up in the jail.
"They didn't give him access to phones so he could contact anybody. They wrote up the charges on him instead of giving any type of real medical care," said Max Gracia Sr. during a news conference on Monday.
The official cause of death, according to the medical examiner, is homicide by septic shock, due to infection from numerous dog bites.