A wrongful death lawsuit filed in Shelbyville, Tenn., is due to be moved to a Federal court mediation program, although it is likely certain parts of it will be turned over to the state court.
The suit was filed by Doris Rollins on behalf of her brother, Larry Byford. Byford, who was 54 in 2009, died of an apparent heart attack while in custody at a county jail near Shelbyville. Rollins has named Sheriff Randall Boyce, Captain Tim Lokey of the County Workhouse, jail nurse Donna Delrio and people named only as “John and Jane Doe, employees of Bedford County, Tennessee” in the suit.
Rollins’ suit claims that her brother was denied medical care while incarcerated at the county jail. Attorneys for the county appear to be going back and forth on the case. Earlier this week, they filed a request for the case to be dismissed “with prejudice,” claiming that it had no merit whatsoever. However, as of yesterday they have agreed to let the matter enter federal mediation.
The specific claims by Rollins are that Byford told his captors that he was experiencing severe swelling in his legs and ankles, and that medication was not reducing the problems. Further, Rollins claimed that Byford told county jail officials that he was having difficulty urinating. The defense has denied these claims.
Rollins also states that she and Byford had made multiple claims during the time he was incarcerated for further medical attention. Additionally, she claims that the jail denied her access to her brother when she came to visit on the 16th of October. Jail officials have insistently denied both claims, stating that Rollins and Byford never made any such requests and that Byford had accepted he would see the physician after a further 8 days, and that Rollins had never showed up at all for the supposed visit with her brother.
Further details will likely emerge as the federal mediation proceeds.