Traverse City News and Events

County Settles With Family Of Inmate Who Committed Suicide

By Beth Milligan | Oct. 10, 2019

Grand Traverse County has approved a settlement with the family of Marilyn Palmer, an inmate of Grand Traverse County Jail who committed suicide in her cell in February 2018.

The $20,000 settlement bestows approximately $3,000 to each of Palmer's three children, more than $6,600 to attorney Jessie Williams, and more than $4,300 to cover Palmer's funeral expenses. A press release from the Sheriff's Office Wednesday said the settlement was reached by county commissioners "solely for financial reasons," saying Palmer's death - while "difficult to deal with" - was not attributable to "any action or inaction of the Sheriff's Office."

According to the department, Palmer denied "thoughts of self-harm" 11 times during her 19-day stay at the jail. Her four medical health service requests "were addressed and all medications as prescribed were received by Palmer." The department states that "policies and procedures dictating medication delivery, hourly cell checks, and observations were followed."

"When Palmer was discovered unconscious in her cell, immediate attempts by several corrections officers were made in an attempt to save her life," the Sheriff's Office release continues. "However, they were unsuccessful."

The release concludes that the "very low settlement amount" approved by county commissioners is a "reflection of the minimal, if any, liability the county faced" in the case.

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