A $41.4 million suit in compensatory and punitive damages is being filed against a Grainger County jail by Troy Bowlin II on behalf of three inmates who claim to have experienced inhumane conditions while behind bars.
Specifically, the three men are charging the county with negligence, infliction of emotional distress, and civil rights violations. They are alleging to have been kept in "sub-human conditions" in a "drunk tank," a cell without a sink, toilet, bed, or lights; and a "dark hole," which had no light or ventilation, two beds for twice as many inmates, and a leaking toilet. This last room featured a toilet which spewed human waste when another toilet down the hall was flushed.
The trio of inmates claim to have only been allowed to shower and exercise once a week and when one asked to be relocated to a different cell with working plumbing, he was threatened with a Taser to the face.
One of the inmates even went so far as to file a pro se suit against the jail's conditions but alleges guards opened his mail and shredded his papers. Another claims they were denied medical treatment for Hepatitis C while confined.
The lawsuit states that jails are legally obligated to offer ventilation and sewerage for those confined. It further alleges that guards purposely denied them access to the court for placing them in what amounted to solitary confinement without the ability to communicate with their attorney. Tennessee law also forces jails to have working lights in sleeping areas.
If you have been a victim of criminal negligence, speak with The Bowlin Law Firm right away. Our firm serves Morristown and Hamblin County so call today for your no-cost case evaluation!