Man sues Kendall County after falling, breaking back in jail

Suit claims jail officials forced unconstitutional conditions of confinement on Gabriel Miranda

BOERNE, Texas – A man who broke his back after falling from a top bunk inside a Kendall County jail cell in late 2021 has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.

The suit filed Thursday claims that inmate Gabriel Miranda faced unconstitutional conditions of confinement.

Miranda broke his back in three places in December 2021 after landing on his sock-covered feet and then onto his backside while trying to climb down from a top bunk inside the jail.

He had turned himself in to officials a day earlier to serve 72 hours in the county jail as part of a DWI plea agreement.

According to the suit and previous reporting from KSAT, Miranda objected to sleeping on a top bunk because of his weight and a previous injury.

“Mr. Miranda was told ‘you are going to do what we f***ing tell you to do;’ his request for a top bunk was, at best, ignored, or, as is more likely the case, outright refused,” the suit states.

The suit also states that the jail did not have medical staff on duty at the time of Miranda’s injury and that detention officers refused to allow paramedics to bring a backboard into the facility to properly transport him to an emergency room.

Miranda previously told KSAT that instead of loading him onto a backboard, medical personnel stood him up, causing his back to pop several more times before placing him onto a gurney.

Body scans of Miranda later revealed a fractured sacrum and two lumbar fractures.

During an interview with KSAT in early 2022, Miranda was still using the assistance of a walker to help him get around.

He spent 19 days in hospitals and a rehabilitation center due to his back injury.

Kendall County Sheriff’s Officials and Kendall County Judge Shane Stolarczyk did not respond to an email Friday seeking comment on the lawsuit.

About the Author

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

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