A former Lubbock County Detention Center inmate is suing Lubbock County for negligence and not providing adequate medical care. Allan Warner, 55, says he was doing trusty work for the detention center when he was injured – an injury that still hurts almost a year later.
Warner had been sentenced to several months in jail for a DWI. While there, he was allowed to work as a trusty. On March 10, 2011, Warner was with four other trusties at the Lubbock Landfill.
"Luckily, I got to be a trusty… I thought luckily because it cuts your time in half," Warner said. "I wish I wouldn't have been there, but I was."
After lunch, Warner says he asked the jail guard to use the porta-potty hooked up to a trailer on the back of the work truck.
"I was using the outhouse fixed to the trailer and while in there, the trailer took off and stopped," he said. "I fell, cracked my left elbow and I'm embarrassed to say I got fecal matter all over me from the outhouse."
Warner says when he got out of the porta-potty he went to talk to the jail guard still sitting behind the steering wheel of the truck. Warner says instead of getting his bleeding elbow treated, he was told to go back to work, still covered in fecal matter, for about another hour.
"I was upset and embarrassed, you know? I had the contents of the outhouse still on me. My elbow was bleeding. My elbow actually hurt a lot worse the next day when it swelled up like a grapefruit," Warner said.
Warner filed a grievance with the Lubbock County Detention Center, but he says he wasn't given any pain medication until a week after the incident. It wasn't until he sought legal help that he was taken to a doctor for a diagnosis.
Warner's left arm and hand were now deformed with nerve damage from the elbow to his fingers.
"My finger hurts on the top side. When you touch it, it's like fire. My elbow hurts to touch. I just want something done about it," Warner said. "I was a professional musician for years, and it's all I used to do. It's pretty much ruined my guitar playing. I feel like I'm half the guy I used to be when I used to play."
Warner is now out of jail and is suing Lubbock County for his ongoing injuries and lack of medical attention while he was under their care.
"Just because we sentence an individual to spend some time there doesn't in any way alleviate our duty to make sure they're receiving proper care," Warner's attorney Sean Carey said.
Carey says it's not just about getting compensation for Warner's injuries and possible surgery. Their main goal is to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.
"We hope it has the effect of bringing the attention to Lubbock County Detention Center and the Sheriff's Office to make sure things are done correctly and that policies are in place to just make sure that these kinds of incidents don't happen," Carey said.
KCBD contacted Sheriff Kelly Rowe, but he says he cannot comment because it is a legal matter. In response to the lawsuit, Lubbock County is denying all allegations. KCBD has an open records request with the County for any documents pertaining to this incident, but have not heard back yet.
Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.