Medical malpractice can impact any Boston resident regardless of age, social class or citizenship status. The daughter of a Dominican-born shuttle driver recently filed a lawsuit in Boston federal court against a county correctional facility and its infirmary alleging that medical negligence led to her father’s death as he fought deportation.

The daughter says that officials at the institution were recklessly negligent and allowed her father to die of complications related to a massive sepsis infection. Officials allegedly waited so long to take the 49-year-old shuttle driver to the hospital that the infection grew out of control and caused him to suffer a heart attack.

The Boston Globe reports that the shuttle driver’s death sparked protests from immigrant rights advocacy groups and those concerned about the care of immigration detainees in Boston and around the country.

“If our country is going to lock people up just because they want to come live with us, the very least we can do is provide them decent medical care,” said the lawyer of the shuttle driver’s daughter.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Office of Professional Responsibility conducted a review of the shuttle driver’s death which flagged several problems with his medical care. The ICE report indicated that the jail’s medical staff failed to complete the driver’s medical records, check his vital signs consistently, and to rush him to the hospital.

The Boston Globe reports that the shuttle driver languished in the jail infirmary for two days before being taken to a hospital, and the driver’s daughter believes that this contributed to her father’s death.

“My client lost her dad because our government failed to properly discharge this most basic duty,” the daughter’s lawyer said. “This is not just a lawsuit, it’s a moral outrage.”

Source: The Boston Globe, “Lawsuit filed in death of detainee,” Maria Sacchetti, 5/16/11