Former Inmate Files $2.5M Lawsuit against County

Knoxville, TN (2017-03-28) A former inmate of the Scott County Jail has filed a $2.5 million lawsuit against Scott County, several corrections officers of the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, and the jail’s third-party medical provider, claiming their negligence led to irreversible brain injury and neurocognitve impairment.

Tammy Brawner, who was incarcerated in the Scott County Jail between June 29, 2016 and July 15, 2016, has filed a $2.5 million lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Knoxville claiming that she suffered permanent and debilitating injuries after corrections officers and medical personnel at the jail failed to provide proper care for her preexisting medical condition.

According to the 27-page compliant filed by Knoxville attorney Darren V. Berg, employees of Advanced Correctional Healthcare, a third-party healthcare provider employed by Scott County, allegedly failed to provide adequate healthcare for her preexisting seizure condition.  In the lawsuit, Brawner claims a two-decades old accident resulted in a grand mal seizure disorder that required daily medication.  Upon intake, she claimed jail personnel were informed of her medical condition, and were provided with a list of her prescribed medications; including Nuerontin and Topamax for her seizure disorder. In total, Brawner was reportedly taking a total of five different drugs that affected the function of her brain, including Effexor, Clonazepam, and Suboxone.

While in custody, Brawner claims she suffered between 30 and 40 seizures because she did not receive her prescribed medications.  She further claims that jailers failed to provide proper and immediate assistance because they thought she was ‘faking it’.  On at least one occasion, she claims she was ‘tased’ by corrections officers.

Nine days after being jailed (July 7, 2016), Brawner says she was transported to Lafollette Medical Center because of her medical condition.  En route to the hospital, Brawner claimed she suffered at least three seizures.  Brawner was treated and returned to the jail.

 

Brawner states that corrections officers failed to inform the hospital personnel of her chronic medical condition, and did not provide them a list of her medications.  A toxicology report provided with the complaint alleges that none of Brawner’s prescribed medications were in her system at the time of her visit.

After being returned to the jail, Brawner claimed her health continued to deteriorate.  On July 15, 2016, she was again transported to Lafollette Medical Center.  She was later airlifted to Physicians Regional Medical Center in Knoxville.  There, she was reportedly stabilized, but claims she had already suffered permanent and debilitating injuries, including swelling of the brain, brain damage, cognitive difficulties, memory loss and neurological damage.

Because of her medical condition, Brawner admitted she has a limited recollection of her stay.  Many of the allegations set forth in the complaint were based on other inmate accounts of her condition and treatment.

In addition to the $2.5 million in compensatory damages, she is also suing for economic damages for past and future medical costs, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and non-economic damages for pain and suffering, mental and emotion anguish, permanent impairments and disabilities, loss of enjoyment of life, attorney’s fees, court costs, and discretionary costs.

Brawner was jailed for failure to make a court appearance in connection with a previous arrest on multiple drug possession charges.