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Family sues over teen's death following stay at Lebanon County Prison

Written by Marie Cusick | Jul 11, 2016 11:22 AM
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Stephanie and Dean Moyer of North Cornwall Township talk about their daughter, Victoria "Tori" Herr, who died April 5 at the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown. Herr had been incarcerated at the Lebanon County prison and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital on March 31. Hours later she was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital. (Michael K. Dakota -- Lebanon Daily News)

(Lebanon) -- The family of a teenager who died last year following a stay in the Lebanon County Prison is filing a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court. The suit alleges staff failed to treat Victoria "Tori" Herr when she experienced serious symptoms of heroin withdrawal.

The death of the 18-year-old sparked outrage last year, after she was jailed following an arrest on charges of selling heroin. The family's attorney, Jonathan Feinberg, says the prison did not provide the proper care for Herr. 

He hopes to draw attention to other cases like this one, which are popping up around the country, in the wake of the heroin epidemic.

"Correctional facilities -- whether its Lebanon County here in Pennsylvania or other facilities -- will be held accountable when they fail to provide the care that is required in situations like this," says Feinberg.

Herr's mother, Stephanie Moyer, says she has been devastated by the loss of her daughter, and calls what happened to her an "abomination."

"I really haven't moved on," says Moyer. "It's unreal. It angers me that I had put such faith and trust into my own county with my only daughter."

A criminal investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police found Herr's death to be accidental. The Lebanon County Prison warden, Robert Karnes, declined to comment on the lawsuit, as did the Lebanon County Administrator, Jamie Wolgemuth.

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