Butler County settles jail death lawsuit for $285K

3:33 p.m Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 Local
Butler County officials settled a federal lawsuit brought by the daughter of a woman who died at the jail in 2012. Here, a Butler County Corrections officer checks the cells in the Butler County Correctional Center in 2015. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Butler County officials have settled a federal lawsuit brought by the daughter of a woman who died at the jail in 2012, according to federal court records.

The suit alleged inmate Ruby Farley died from complications from withdrawal that corrections officers and jail medical staff ignored. Farley, 52, was in jail for contempt of court.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Butler County sheriff sued over jail death

Farley’s daughter Holly McConnell, through attorney Jennifer Branch, and attorneys for the sheriff’s office agreed to settle the suit on Dec. 13, according to court records.

Branch said the county agreed to pay $285,000 in damages and attorney fees to settle the case. Such settlements are usually split between the county and its insurance company.

Butler County Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer said he couldn’t provide a copy of the settlement agreement or comment on the case until the settlement was formally filed.

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The suit, filed in 2013, said Farley told intake officers she was ill and in need of medication. It says a corrections officer didn’t follow a medics directions to transport Farley for medical treatment.

“After lunch Ms. Farley took a turn for the worse,” the complaint alleges. “She threw up her lunch. Then she started moaning and screaming for help.”

At one point, she also fell down and hit her head on the floor, but a deputy just left her there, according to the complaint, which also says the officer didn’t immediately call 911 when she found Farley not breathing and without a pulse.

The suit alleged the jail lacked proper training and policies for dealing with addicted inmates, but Branch said she was unable to include terms in the settlement that would make changes in policy and training for staff.