The family of a man who died of a methamphetamine overdose at the Deschutes County Jail has filed a wrongful death lawsuit this week.
Edwin B. Mays III was arrested on drug charges Dec. 14, 2014 and died shortly after he was taken to jail.
The lawsuit alleges that jail staff knew Mays was at risk of an overdose, and left him in a holding cell for three hours without any medical attention. The deputies were watching a Seahawks game that night, according to the lawsuit.
Surveillance video showed deputies checking on Mays as he thrashed, convulsed, and split his head open. The lawsuit alleges at times the deputies laughed at him.
It also states at one point medics came to the jail to help a female inmate, but nobody asked them to examine Mays, who was in the cell next door.
A few hours after being taken to the jail, Mays became unresponsive, but the lawsuit alleges the deputies still held off calling for medics until he had stopped breathing a half hour later. At 8:55 p.m., the staff called Bend Fire and Rescue, and at 8:58 began trying to resuscitate Mays. Medics arrived at 9:02.
The family is seeking $10.7 million in damages. The Deschutes County district attorney has asked the Oregon Department of Justice to investigate the death.
Deschutes County attorney David Doyle said his department would not comment on the case until the investigation is complete.