TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Seven inmates at a western Indiana county's jail are suing the sheriff and the jail, accusing officials of allowing unsanitary conditions and failing to protect inmates from the coronavirus.
The Vigo County Jail inmates filed their federal lawsuits in December as letters with the U.S. District Court in Terre Haute that ask the court to intervene for the health of the inmates.
Some of the inmates complain about a lack of cleaning supplies for inmates, poor food quality, jail mold problems and other sanitary issues.
But four of the inmates' letters address an early December COVID-19 outbreak at the jail during which more than 100 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus, the Tribune-Star reported.
“I am scared for my life. COVID-19 is nothing to play around with. Please help us,” inmate Durand Randall Randall wrote in his letter, asking for emergency release.
Some of the letters contend inmates were housed for days with an inmate who was ill with suspected COVID-19, and that after he died from COVID-19, some inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 were housed for about 24 hours with inmates who had tested negative.
County Sheriff John Plasse has said the inmate who died from COVID-19 displayed no signs of the coronavirus before he collapsed in the jail and died at a local hospital.
Vigo County Attorney Michael Wright on Thursday that he was aware of the federal filings. Both Wright and Plasse declined to comment on the pending litigation.