- Associated Press - Saturday, October 31, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A representative of an inmate who died last year has sued Canyon County Jail and its workers, saying they failed to provide him adequate treatment.

The estate of Alfred Girrard Young, also known as Jeri-Alfred Cook, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Idaho on Friday seeking unspecified damages.

The lawsuit alleges that Cook developed a treatable respiratory infection but due to inadequate care, he lapsed into a coma and died. It also alleges that jailers were aware of his medical conditions and retaliated against him in the past for filing complaints about poor medical care.

A county spokesman declined to comment and referred questions to the county’s insurer. The Idaho Counties Risk Management Program didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, the Statesman reported (https://goo.gl/Ci0rEW).

Young, 46, was found unresponsive in a holding cell on April 3, 2014. He was taken to a hospital where he died three days later.

Young had pleaded guilty to a DUI charge and was sentenced in 2012 to probation and ordered to attend drug court. He was sent to jail in February 2014 to serve 30 days of “discretionary” jail time ordered by his probation officer.

While in jail, Young asked several times to be seen by a health care provider for breathing difficulties, nausea, headaches, bloody vomit and other problems, but nothing was done, the newspaper reported.

Inmates alerted deputies that Young was having trouble breathing and experiencing chest pain on April 3, 2014, according to the lawsuit. He was examined by a jail nurse, who noted on the medical chart that Young’s pain was “10” on a scale of “1 to 10” and placed Young in a holding cell for further assessment.

Later that day, another nurse examined him and ultimately sent him back to his cell for later examination. No one checked on Young for four hours, according to the lawsuit, and when they did, they found him unresponsive in his cell. He was not seen by a doctor at the jail, the lawsuit alleges.

In 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the county on behalf of Young and others who alleged jail officers retaliated against them for complaining about jail conditions. The ACLU and the county eventually reached a settlement agreement, with the county agreeing to change how it processed grievances, the Statesman reported.

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Information from: Idaho Statesman, https://www.idahostatesman.com

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