Pasco sheriff’s office sued over jail inmate’s death

NEW PORT RICHEY – The family of a New Port Richey man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, saying he died because of the poor medical and psychological care he received during a jail stay.

Thomas James Fredenburg died Sept. 10, 2007, at Tampa General Hospital following a two-week stay at the Land O’ Lakes Jail. He was 28. An autopsy found that Fredenburg died of blunt trauma to the head.

Fredenburg was booked into the jail on an aggravated battery charge Aug. 24, 2007. According to the 23-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, he told jail medical staff that he had a drug problem and had been taking Soma, Valium and oxycodone. The next day, he reported experiencing opiate withdrawal.

Fredenburg’s condition continued to deteriorate over the next few weeks. He began hallucinating, yelling and kicking at his cell door. Deputies placed him in a padded cell when he should have been transferred to a medical facility, the complaint states.

By the beginning of September, Fredenburg was seen pacing nude in his cell and also began throwing himself into walls and rolling on the floor.

On Sept, 8, 2007, a deputy saw Fredenburg run head first into a wall and fall over a toilet, the complaint states. The behavior continued until deputies placed him in a restraint chair used for violent inmates. Later that day, he was returned to a padded cell, where he became unresponsive.

Fredenburg was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital and then to Tampa General, where he died.

The complaint alleges that jail workers showed a deliberate disregard for Fredenburg by failing to transport him to a medical facility in a timely manner.

Tampa attorney Fred Carrington filed the complaint on behalf of Fredenburg’s mother and three women who had children with Fredenburg.

Carrington couldn’t be reached for comment today.

The complaint names 17 defendants, including Sheriff Bob White, the Pasco county commission and numerous corrections officers and jail medical staff.

Andrew DeBevoise, an attorney for the sheriff’s office, declined to comment, saying he hadn’t seen the lawsuit



One Response to “Pasco sheriff’s office sued over jail inmate’s death”

  1. I think they have a strong case against the sherrif’s office

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