Jefferson County woman files $300k lawsuit against county

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) A Jefferson County woman is alleging that her husband's death could have been prevented while he served time inside the Jefferson County jail.

Donna Free is filing a $300,000 lawsuit, alleging that her husband, Jeffrey, was left unattended inside the medical unit inside the jail. The claim is that staff at the jail knew Jeffrey had a history of medical issues, including suicidal tendencies.

Free was found hanged in his medical cell on January 12th of this year.

The lawsuit also claims that Jeffrey wasn't found for nearly two hours after he took his life, and that there were "no qualified medical personnel at the Jefferson County Jail from the time Free was admitted to jail and up to the time of his death."

Free was checked into the jail by his sister, Brenda Williamson, according to the lawsuit. It also says that jail officials were given detailed information about Free's medical needs.

Attorney Richard Talley is filing the lawsuit on behalf on Donna Free.

"The main thing is to hopefully keep this from happening to somebody else, in a similar situation. He had special medical needs, and needs special care," Talley said.

Sheriff Bud McCoig couldn't be reached for a comment on the case.

Late Thursday evening, Local 8 News was able to confirm with a TBI spokesperson that a second death from inside the Jefferson County Jail is currently being investigated. No other information is being given at this time about that case.

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