Fulton County

Fulton County approves $4 million settlement for family of man ‘eaten alive’ by bed bugs in jail

ATLANTA — Fulton County has approved a $4 million settlement after family members say their loved one was “eaten alive” by bed bugs at the Fulton County Jail.

Lashawn Thompson died in September after a three-month stay at the jail. He was arrested in June 2022 for simple battery, a misdemeanor.

Graphic images released after Thompson died showed his face, mouth and torso covered with insects.

An independent autopsy report noted that Thompson suffered from dehydration, malnutrition, and severe body insect infestation. The initial autopsy from the Fulton County Medical Examiner listed the cause of death as “undetermined.”

On Wednesday, the Fulton County Commission approved the settlement over Thompson’s death in 6-0 vote following the executive session.


Attorney Michael Harper previously said Thompson was diagnosed with schizophrenia but was physically healthy when booked into jail.

Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat previously responded to the claims. His office released another statement about the independent autopsy report:

“I have not had a chance to fully review the independent autopsy report. However, even before this report was issued it was painfully clear there were a number of failures that led to Mr. Thompson’s tragic death.

“I have already held the executive staff responsible for jail operations accountable by asking for and receiving the resignations of the Chief Jailer, Assistant Chief Jailer of Housing and Assistant Chief Jailer, Criminal Investigative Division. Repercussions for anyone found to be negligent in Mr. Thompson’s care could come once the full investigation is turned over to the GBI for review.

“I remain committed to making sure the Thompson family receives the answers they need and deserve about the unconscionable circumstances surrounding Mr. Thompson’s death.