Hamblen County Jail Facing Lawsuit
The Hamblen County Sheriff’s department is facing a lawsuit brought on by the family of an inmate who died while in custody. The lawsuit is being filed on behalf of the daughter of Oscar Rodriguez who died in the Hamblen County jail just over a year ago…his daughter had not been born yet when he died on July 14, 2021. According to the lawsuit, at the time of his arrest by Morristown Police, Rodriguez told officers he had ingested something, but didn’t know what it was and that he needed to go to the hospital. The lawsuit says Rodriguez was put in a holding cell and left unattended for nearly 2 1/2 hours. That’s when a nurse found him unresponsive and lying on his back. The lawsuit states that Corrections Officers should have known or suspected Rodriguez might have been facing acute drug intoxication and should have provided treatment. It accuses Hamblen County of deliberate indifference, negligence and failing to properly train jail staff to respond to medical emergencies. The suit is seeking $40 million in damages.