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Drunk Man Says Jailers Didn’t Do Right

JACKSON, Tenn. (CN) - A man who admits he has been jailed repeatedly while "extremely intoxicated" sued a sheriff and six deputies in Federal Court, claiming they failed to prevent him from hanging himself in his cell with his shirt and socks, then sent him to a hospital and stuck him with the medical bills.

Danny Dwayne Haynes sued Perry County, its Sheriff Tommy Hickerson and six deputies, alleging a civil rights violation: inadequate medical treatment.

In his complaint, Haynes acknowledged he got into a car crash on March 26, 2011, after which a Highway Patrolman found him at a hospital, "'extremely intoxicated,' and 'unable to walk due to the level of intoxication.'"

He says the state trooper arrested him at the hospital and took him to the Perry County Jail.

"The plaintiff is well-known to the Perry County Jail and its employees, having been incarcerated there multiple times for various offenses, including those involving extreme intoxication," Haynes says in the complaint.

"Additionally, the plaintiff has been incarcerated at least two (2) times in the past for aggravated domestic assault while intoxicated."

Haynes says he tried to hang himself in the jail in December 2005, after one domestic assault incident.

In the other domestic assault incident, in August 2007, Haynes says, "the plaintiff, again in an extremely intoxicated state, threatened to harm himself, having armed himself with a rifle, shotgun and a knife".

The day after he was arrested in the drunk driving accident, Haynes says, the sheriff's office had him complete an intake questionnaire, which noted that he "seemed depressed."

The day after that, he says, he hung himself in his cell with his shirt and socks, "which were left accessible to him by Perry County Jail officials and/or employees".

His jailers cut him down and took him to a hospital, where he tried to kill himself again by grabbing a deputy's gun, Haynes says.

He complains that he has been billed for medical treatments at three hospitals, all for "medical services rendered for treatment of the incident that occurred during his incarceration at the Perry County Jail."

"(T)he plaintiff has suffered financially, as he is uninsured and has been made responsible for the cost of treatment, despite the fact that he was in the custody of the Perry County Jail at the time of the injury," Haynes says.

He seeks punitive damages for deliberate indifference and state law torts.

He is represented by Leanne Thorne, of Lexington, Tenn.

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