PHILIPPI – A Preston County man is suing a jail correction facility and four of its officers, alleging they deprived him of his civil rights during an incident while he was incarcerated.
Timothy John Ross of Tennelton filed a lawsuit Sept. 21 in Barbour Circuit Court against the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority and John Does 1-4, alleging violations of the 5th and 14th Amendments, tort of outrage, tort of battery and negligence.
According to the complaint, on Dec. 11, 2013, Ross was incarcerated at Tygart Valley Regional Jail in Belington, which was owned and operated by WVRJA.
The suit says Ross was rocking back and forth uncontrollably in his cell as the result of suffering from extreme anxiety, and although he was causing no harm to anyone else, an officer told Ross to stop and then took him to the teleconference room.
After Ross was escorted out of the room, the suit states, the officer started yelling and beating Ross' head against the wall. This was followed by the rest of the officers, joining the first, in taking Ross to the bathroom and proceeding to beat him--causing Ross to sustain serious physical injuries, the lawsuit says.
The civil action says Ross was deprived of his rights to due process and equal protection as the defendants used unlawful and unprovoked excessive force and brutality. Ross alleges he was treated differently because of his disability and says the officers wouldn't have beaten him if he hadn't been rocking. Moreover, Ross also contends WVRJA failed to supervise or adequately train its employees on how to properly handle inmates with disabilities.
The plaintiff alleges he experienced permanent injuries, severe emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation, an inability to tend to his normal daily duties and loss of earning capacity.
Ross seeks damages, in addition to attorney fees, court costs and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. He is represented by attorney Erika Klie Kolenich of Klie Law Offices in Buckhannon.
Barbour Circuit Court case number 15-c-58.