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Two lawsuits filed on behalf of former inmate

Published: 8:36 AM, 08/30/2012

Author: Nelson Morais
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

NEWPORT-Two lawsuits-one federal and one state-have been filed on behalf of David Grooms, who allegedly died a few hours after his release from the Cocke County Jail in 2011.

Floyd Elmer Grooms, David Grooms' father, is the plaintiff in both lawsuits, which claim Grooms was denied life-saving medical treatment while incarcerated, from "on or about" May 19, 2011, when he was arrested and charged with driving on a revoked license (second or greater charge), until his release on August 26, 2011. The lawsuits claim David Grooms died a few hours after his release from jail, at home and lying on his sofa.

Defending attorneys Gary M. Prince and John R. Rosson, Jr., of Knoxville, filed the federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court, in Greeneville, on Monday, Aug. 27.

The same two attorneys filed the state lawsuit in Cocke County Circuit Court on Aug. 24.

The defendants listed in both lawsuits are Cocke County; Sheriff Armando Fontes; Jail Administrator Tommy Large; John Thornton, the state probation officer assigned to David Grooms; jail nurse Brandi Holt; and all other employees and/or agents, deputies, jailers, and guards who had contact with David Grooms while he was in jail, currently described in the lawsuits as "John Doe" and "Jane Doe" until the plaintiff's attorneys get a complete employment roster and any other documents that reveal who had contact with the deceased while he was in jail.

The federal lawsuit seeks compensatory damages for wrongful death of $1 million, punitive damages of $1 million and damages from Sheriff Fontes for not less than $300,000.

For more details, please see the latest edition of the Newport Plain Talk.

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