The family of inmate Kenneth Dalstra–who died from drinking too much water due to mental health issues inside a Michigan prison–recently settled their lawsuit in federal court against the Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC). The family sued three prison guards in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids for allowing their mentally unstable son to commit suicide by overdosing himself with water. According to a spokesperson from the DOC, the family received over $1 million in a settlement.
Kenneth was 41 years old when he died of water intoxication at Richard A. Hanlon Correctional Facility. He suffered from psychogenic polydipsia, a pathological compulsion to consume water or other liquids triggered by mental illness. The lawsuit indicates that Kenneth suffered a schizophrenic breakdown in the days preceding his death. He died in April 2014 in the prison in Ionia, Michigan. He was sentenced in November 2013 to 3.5 to 75 years incarceration for criminal sexual conduct.