MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – A lawsuit claims an Oregon inmate asked for help 19 times in the five hours before he died in jail following a beating at the hands of other inmates.
The lawsuit was filed against Yamhill County Jail and its staff Monday on behalf of Jed Hawk Myers who died in 2015, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported. The lawsuit accuses jail staff of ignoring Myers’ symptoms for over five hours as they watched him on surveillance monitors.
The suit seeks at least $12 million in economic and non-economic damages as well as an unspecified amount in punitive damages.
“They basically isolated this guy who they know is hurt and watch him die,” said Attorney Matthew Kaplan. “He has to stop breathing for them to finally go into his cell again and check on him.”
Myers had been in prison on a four-day jail sanction for not reporting properly to his probation officer.
Myers was under medical supervision after he was assaulted by two other inmates in his general population cell. He was left alone after an initial check from a medical technician, according to reports. Deputies looked into the window of Myers’ cell on an hourly basis, according to the administrative investigation.
Myers had hit the intercom button of a medical cell 19 times while he was bleeding and in pain, recordings and reports show. An inmate in a nearby medical unit told investigators that he heard Myers screaming for help.
The lawsuit also accuses jail staff of not properly evaluating Myers and failing to call an ambulance and properly train non-medical staff on how to respond to medical emergencies.
None of the staff faced repercussions after the death, the lawsuit stated.
Yamhill County’s lawyer Christian Boenisch could not be reached for comment.
Inmates Joshua Mulbreght and Zachary Chronister were charged in Myers’ death.
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