MAYSVILLE, Mo. (AP) - The wife and three daughters of a man who died after being jailed are suing two northwest Missouri counties and several officials over medical treatment he received while incarcerated.
Janet Harris, of Maysville, and her three daughters allege in the federal lawsuit that the staff at the Daviess/DeKalb Regional Jail didn’t provide Timothy Harris medical treatment for a lung infection while he was jailed for 25 days. The 36-year-old died June 2 while being flown to a Kansas City hospital for treatment.
Jail administrator Robert Gray said he had been told not to comment on the lawsuit. He is one of 12 defendants, including both counties and their sheriffs, The St. Joseph News-Press reported (https://bit.ly/SXp6Qh ).
Harris, a convicted felon, was jailed on May 8 after he tried to buy a rifle. The lawsuit alleges police used a stun gun and beat him, then placed him in solitary confinement.
Janet Harris says in the lawsuit that she observed during two visits that her husband’s breathing was shallow and labored and he appeared weak, pale and dramatically thinner.
According to the lawsuit, Janet Harris says her husband told her he had been denied medical care several times and was afraid he wasn’t going to survive. However, when he was allowed a nurse visit, he cancelled it because “he was too exhausted,” according to the lawsuit.
Harris was released on June 2 to Cameron Regional Medical Center, where he collapsed in the changing room and was twice resuscitated. When doctors drained his left lung, they determined it was almost completely filled an infection “which had persisted and gone untreated for a ‘long time,’” according to the lawsuit. He died while being flown to St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City.
Janet Harris claims her husband was mistreated because he had criticized law enforcement on social media.
The family is seeking monetary damages, attorney fees, medical and funeral expenses. The case has been referred to the Mediation and Assessment Program for possible negotiation.
Harris has a criminal history in Missouri dating back to 2007, with charges including unlawful use of a weapon, domestic assault and resisting arrest.
Information from: St. Joseph News-Press/St. Joe, Missouri, https://www.newspressnow.com
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