Man says he was attacked by fellow inmate

By Annie Cosby | Dec 15, 2014

CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County man is suing over claims he was attacked by another inmate while incarcerated, and the jail allegedly failed to appropriately treat his injuries.

Jonathan M. Trimble filed a lawsuit Oct. 23 in Kanawha Circuit Court against the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, citing negligence.

According to the complaint, Trimble was an inmate at South Central Regional Jail on a 4-year-old capias warrant for domestic violence involving his brother, which was ultimately dismissed, when he was attacked by another inmate named "Johnny" Eades.

Trimble says Eades hit him in the head three times, knocking him to the ground, then got on top of a table and jumped onto Trimble, causing a 6-centimeter fracture in Trimble's knee. The complaint states Eades was in the same pod as Trimble, which was designated for inmates accused of misdemeanor offenses, but Eades was a convicted felon with a violent history.

Trimble says he was treated at Thomas Memorial Hospital where he was prescribed a narcotic and advised to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible, but the jail never gave him the prescribed medication. According to the lawsuit, the jail instead gave Trimble codeine, which he is allergic to and is documented in prison records, forcing him to vomit up the pills once he learned what he'd been given.

The lawsuit states he was only given ibuprofen after that, which left him in great pain during the six days that elapsed before the jail took him to an orthopedic surgeon.

The lawsuit states Trimble's injury was so severe that the doctor he visited July 1, Dr. Stanley Tao, ordered immediate surgery 10 minutes away in Ohio but the jail would not allow this. Trimble says that, instead, Tao rearranged his schedule to perform the surgery the next day, but 30 minutes before the surgery was to begin, Trimble was informed that he was being released on bond and the jail was not responsible for paying for his surgery.

According to the lawsuit, Trimble does not have the financial resources to pay for the surgery and because treatment was delayed so long, the fracture is not healing properly, which means it may be necessary to re-break the knee to repair it. The defendant is accused of state constitutional tort, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of duty as a custodian.

Trimble seeks compensatory damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, interest and attorney fees.

He is represented by attorneys Robert H. Miller II and Shawn R. Romano of Romano and Associates in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1908

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