Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Campbell Co. jail - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Campbell Co. jail

By Sara Gouedy - bio | email

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - The Campbell County Jail is already investigating three inmate deaths in as many weeks.

FOX19 has learned that a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the jail for yet another inmate who died in jail custody last spring. It was filed only a few days before the latest series of deaths.

and fox 19 has learned tonight...there's a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the jail...for yet another inmate who died in jail custody last spring...filed only a few days before this latest series of deaths

The lawsuit claims Southern Health Partners, a number of jail employees, and the jail itself are liable for inmate Kenneth Marcum's death.

He died in the medical ward in April 2008.

Marcum's mother, Sandra Richard, is the first to admit her son had problems - addictions throughout his life to drugs and alcohol. She says that's what brought him to the Campbell County Jail.

But when Marcum died in jail custody on April 27, 2008, Sandra became a mother on a mission.

"I don't think anybody should have to suffer the way he suffered, because of lack of care," she said.

Sandra and attorney Robert Blau filed the wrongful death lawsuit saying the jail and its employees didn't give Marcum proper medical care right before his death.

He died of a perforated ulcer.

"In Mr. Marcum's case, they thought he was just going through the withdrawal from alcohol, which is apparently a very difficult process to through, and a painful process, but they were wrong. They misdiagnosed him completely," said Blau.

Blau formally filed the amended lawsuit April 15, four days before inmate Dennis Rosenberg's death at the jail.

Since then, inmates Josie McFall and Ernest Dunaway have also died at the jail.

Jail officials say they've opened up an investigation into these last three deaths.

In the Marcum case, attorney Jeff Mando is representing the jail, jailer Greg Buckler and other employees.

"We do not believe we are responsible for Mr. Marcum's death, we obviously regret any death, and we strive to provide a safe and secure facility," said Mando.

Southern Health Partners handles medical care at the Campbell County Detention Center. The company employs a part time doctor and ten staffers in the jail's medical ward.

Risk manager Jodi Harrison says Southern Health Partners had no comment on the Marcum lawsuit. She says that the Chattanooga-based company has filed an answer to the lawsuit and will defend it.

Sandra Richard says lawsuit or no, none of it brings her son back. For now, she's trying to remember Marcum in better days, as a man who served his country once in the Marines.

"He should have been in a hospital, and he would have never died. You don't die of perforated ulcers when you can get medical help," said Richard.

Southern Health Partners has provided medical care at the jail since 2007. The company also provides care to over 150 facilities in 12 states.

Employees at the jail have set up a meeting with the Department of Corrections to discuss these latest deaths.

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