Inmate sues Division of Corrections for negligence, assault

By Kyla Asbury | Jan 25, 2010

CHARLESTON -- An inmate at the Huttonsville Correctional Center in Randolph County is suing the West Virginia Division of Corrections for negligence and assault.

Prior to his incarceration, Leroy Jones Jr. had a right hip replacement surgery, which he claims he disclosed in his initial Division of Corrections intake interviews at Mount Olive, according to a complaint filed Dec. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Jones' victim and the underlying offense for his incarceration was an employee of Mount Olive, according to the suit, and during the initial intake at the facility, he and several other employees allegedly taunted, harassed and menaced him.

Jones claims he filed a grievance based on his treatment and was falsely accused a short time later of threatening the victim. He was transferred to Huttonsville Correctional Center to serve 30 days in solitary confinement.

Almost immediately after being released from solitary confinement, Jones claims he was walking with other inmates back to his cell when "an emergency situation arose on one of the yards." A CERT team responded to the situation.

Jones claims the guards who had been escorting him back to his cell forced him to walk into the area that was being controlled by CERT. Upon entering the area, guards abruptly ordered Jones to get down, but Jones claims because of his hip replacement, he was physically unable to drop to the ground instantaneously, but moved as quickly as his condition would allow.

Several guards suddenly grabbed Jones and violently threw him to the ground, according to the suit. Jones claims he was physically restrained on the ground through force applied directly and primarily to his hip area.

Jones claims during the restraint his left hip was broken and his replaced right hip also sustained damage. He claims after being transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital, emergency surgery was ordered and scheduled for his left hip. He was transported back to the correctional center to wait.

Jones claims the Division of Corrections refused to transport him back to the hospital for hip surgery, despite "repeated pleas from the plaintiff and clear written orders from the plaintiff's doctors." Jones still has not received the surgery.

Jones is seeking compensatory damages for all pain, suffering and mental anguish; future medical expenses and needs; permanent scarring and disfigurement; and annoyance, inconvenience and other mental and emotional suffering. He is being represented by David Grunau.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-2370

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