Settlement gives dead Oklahoma woman's sister control of estate

Jamie Russell, 33, died Jan. 2 after being arrested at Pauls Valley hospital where she had sought treatment. The medical examiner ruled she died from a pregnancy condition that is fairly routine, easily diagnosable and where death of the mother is usually preventable.
by Phillip O'Connor Modified: May 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm •  Published: May 11, 2013
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SULPHUR — The estranged husband of a pregnant woman who died in police custody will not gain control of her estate.

Instead, control of Jamie Lynn Russell's estate will go to her sister on behalf of the dead woman's 10-year-old son, under a settlement agreement reached Friday.

As a result, the sister, Stefanie Fisher, also will control any medical malpractice lawsuit resulting from Jamie Lynn Russell's death, including who to sue, whether to settle and for how much.

An attorney for Fisher declined to discuss the terms of the settlement agreement, including whether the estranged husband, Bruce W. Russell, received any financial compensation for dropping his claim. The settlement came shortly before a hearing in Murray County District Court on the matter.

Jamie Russell, 33, died Jan. 2 after being arrested at Pauls Valley General Hospital where she had sought treatment. The medical examiner ruled she died from a condition of pregnancy that is fairly routine, easily diagnosable and where death of the mother is usually preventable.

Bruce Russell, who is not the 10-year-old's father, was in jail at the time of Jamie Russell's death and signed court documents saying he is engaged to another woman. In testimony last month, he could not correctly recall the year the couple married (2010), how long they lived together or the last time he saw Jamie Russell.

by Phillip O'Connor
Enterprise Editor
O'Connor joined the Oklahoman staff in June, 2012 after working at The Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a combined 28 years. O'Connor, an Oklahoma City resident, is a graduate of Kansas State University. He has written frequently...
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