On August 31, 2011, an inmate at the Daviess County Detention Center filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Daviess County and the Daviess County Detention Center. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, ...
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On August 31, 2011, an inmate at the Daviess County Detention Center filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Daviess County and the Daviess County Detention Center. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as damages, claiming that they were denied medical attention for serious medical needs and necessary medication prescribed by medical authorities because of the defendants' neglect and deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
The plaintiffs specifically alleged the defendants that the jail had a blanket policy to deny all psychotropic drugs regardless of their needs and doctors' prescriptions. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants' conduct was intentional or grossly negligent, and was indicative of not only deliberate indifference to, but active malice and a total and reckless disregard for the rights of the plaintiffs.
On July 23, 2008, Judge Joseph H. McKinley denied the defendants' motion for a more definitive statement. On June 16, 2009, Judge McKinley granted in part and reserved in part the defendants' motion for summary judgment. French v. Daviess Cnty., Ken., 2009 WL 1766928 (W.D. Ky. June 23, 2009).
On August 18, 2009, Judge McKinley denied the plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration and granted summary judgment for the reserved portions of the defendants' motions for summary judgment. Judge McKinley also denied the plaintiffs' motion for class certification. Judge McKinley held that the plaintiff failed to show that any jail personnel deprived him of narcotic pain medication because of an alleged no-narcotics policy. Furthermore, the plaintiff failed to show that placing him on a Valium detoxification protocol was the result of deliberate indifference on the part of jail personnel. French v. Daviess Cnty., Ky., 2009 WL 2589513 (W.D. Ky. Aug. 19, 2009).
On May 5, 2010, Judges Merritt, Cole, and Cook of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court. The court held that jail officials were not able to obtain reliable information that French needed narcotic pain medication or Xanax. Officials instead made reasoned, individualized determinations as to French's care, such as placing him on a detoxification protocol and transporting him to the hospital. Consequently, jail officials were not deliberately indifferent to French's serious medical needs. French v. Daviess Cnty., Ky., 376 F. App'x 519 (6th Cir. 2010).Jessica Kincaid - 04/05/2014