Federal lawsuit filed against Logan County jail over withdrawal death

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(File Photo: MGN Online)

The family of a former inmate has filed a lawsuit over his death at the Logan County jail, alleging he received inadequate treatment for alcohol withdrawal which led to his death. Ricky Lee Burris died June 15, 2018 at the jail, while he was strapped into a restraint chair, according to attorneys.

The lawsuit, filed on March 7, 2019, alleges that alcohol withdrawal is a well-known problem among inmates at the Logan County jail. Attorneys also reference the death of an inmate from alcohol withdrawal in 2002.

Burris, 54, was arrested June 14, 2018 on a failure to appear warrant, according to earlier reporting from The Bellefontaine Examiner. He died a day later.

"Alcohol withdrawal is dangerous. Most jails can safely treat the symptoms and those inmates survive," Attorney Al Gerhardstein said in a statement. "Two deaths from such a foreseeable problem in one jail is outrageous and inexcusable."

Burris was originally from Bellefontaine and served in the US Army for four years, according to his obituary, before working for several years as a roofing contractor and flooring installer.