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Saturday, July 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Judge Tosses Claims of Sheriff’s Negligence

RICHMOND, Va. (CN) - A Newport News, Va. woman cannot pursue claims against the city's sheriff for injuries she received when she fell down a staircase while in police custody, a federal judge ruled.

In a complaint filed in the Newport News Federal Court, Starla Jean Lloyd said that in the process of releasing her from a juvenile detention center, sheriff's deputies acted with gross negligence when they did not assist her in going stairs while she was in leg chains and handcuffs.

According to court documents, the then-16-year-old minor struck her head hard enough to lose consciousness, and that she was transported to Riverside Regional Medical Center

When a doctor recommended that Lloyd undergo medical testing, the female officer that accompanied Lloyd to the hospital "negligently and with deliberate indifference, and without a valid reason, other than to state she had a dinner date, cancelled the tests and returned the Plaintiff to the Detention Center," the complaint said.

Lloyd was then taken to a second hospital where she was treated for "serious head and bodily injuries," the complaint continued. Lloyd sued Sheriff Gabe Morgan for negligence in training, supervision and administration of the Newport News Sheriff's Office, and the individual officers involved in her accident and treatment on various other negligence-related claims.

With the exception of a single negligence charge, civil claims against Morgan have been dismissed.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Mark Davis said since Lloyd did not object to the dismissal of these charges, she must now demonstrate while the remaining charge against the sheriff, and those against the officers, should not also be dropped.

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