Police & Courts

Adams sheriff, department facing wrongful death lawsuit

Special to The Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 11, 2020 5:30 pm Updated: Sep. 11, 2020 8:21 pm

QUINCY — The Adams County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Brian VonderHaar are listed as defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit filed last month in Adams County Circuit Court.

Jeffrey Deutschman, whose law firm filed the lawsuit on Aug. 25 on behalf of plaintiff Dan Treadwell, told our news-gathering partners at WGEM that the lawsuit involves the death of inmate Garland Treadwell, 55, who died in the Adams County Jail last year.

"He reported having chest pains, so (officers) took him to the hospital and then brought him back," Deutschman told WGEM. "He reported having chest pains again a day later, so they took him to the hospital again. A doctor said he needed to see a cardiologist and scheduled an appointment for the following Monday. Monday came around, and they didn't take him to the appointment. They said they were understaffed."

Deutschman said Treadwell then suffered a massive heart attack and died Sept. 11, 2019.

Court documents show Treadwell had been charged with two counts of burglary on Dec. 26, 2018. That case was listed as dismissed on the day he died.

The plaintiff in the civil case, Dan Treadwell, is Garland Treadwell's son and the special administrator for Garland Treadwell's estate, WGEM reported.

The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 in damages from the Adams County Sheriff's Department, and VonderHaar, and claims both parties had the duty to control, manage, maintain and operate their facility with reasonable care for the safety of their inmates, including allowing inmates to get necessary medical attention.

The case is assigned to Judge Kevin Tippey, and no court date is scheduled.

VonderHaar declined to comment to WGEM on the lawsuit and referred questions to Adams County State's Attorney Gary Farha.

Farha referred questions to Quincy attorney Jim Hansen, whom Farha told WGEM is defending the county in the lawsuit. A message left at Hansen's office was not immediately returned.

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