An Arab man is suing the Marshall County Sheriff's Office for $15 million, alleging his daughter died a wrongful death while an inmate at the Marshall County Jail.
In the suit filed late Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court, Robert Lee Carr Jr., father of the late Regina T. Carr, alleges Regina Carr was beaten nearly to death on March 15 while she was an inmate in the jail. At the time, she was facing second-degree manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of precursor chemical charges.
The suit seeks judgment on five counts, including violation of her constitutional rights, wrongful death, failure to provide necessary medical attention, failure to provide proper training and supervision of jail employees, and medical malpractice.
Shannon attorney Martin Weinberg represents the Carr family in the suit.
In requesting a jury trial, Robert Carr seeks $15 million in compensatory damages, exemplary damages, interest, and litigation and attorney's fees.
Robert Carr's suit names Marshall County Sheriff Scott Walls, Jail Warden Dewayne Bankson and Southern Health Partners Inc., the company providing medical care of jail inmates, as defendants.
Regina Carr was arrested on the charges March 7 and held in the jail under a $5,000 bond. The suit alleges that while incarcerated, she was badly beaten in the jail on March 15 and transported to Marshall Medical Center North before being transferred to Huntsville Hospital.
The suit goes on to allege that on March 17, Regina Carr exhibited no signs of brain activity while at Huntsville Hospital and her family chose to discontinue life support. She died that day.
Robert Carr alleges in his suit Regina Carr was denied proper medical care while in custody at the Marshall County Jail, including having a rescue inhaler and psychiatric medications withheld. Additionally, in the suit Robert Carr alleges his daughter was "mistreated and discriminated against" because she was a homosexual. Robert Carr goes on to allege the Sheriff's Office has a history of "demonstrating a policy of discrimination toward homosexual inmates."
The suit cites violations of Regina Carr's constitutional rights, including a "deliberate indifference toward the serious medical needs of Regina Carr" and "implementing a policy or custom of discriminatory treatment toward homosexuals."
"We are obviously disputing the medical findings made at that time," Weinberg said.
"Some of the facts are questionable in terms of how she died.
"I think the truth will come to light in terms of what exactly happened. Our hope is that with this suit, the truth will be told."
Walls disputed Weinberg's claims, saying inmate deaths are part of running a jail facility.
"When you have people in custody, it is not unusual to have inmate deaths," Walls said. "Often times, they have medical conditions and poor health and have not received proper medical care before they came to the jail.
"Our medical staff provided outstanding medical care in this case and in other cases.
"Unfortunately, she died. That is part of having a jail population."
In reports published at the time of Regina Carr's death, Carr was said to have been arrested with her boyfriend, William J. Dooley, 32, of Joppa. Dooley faced charges of manufacturing methamphetamines but was able to post bail, while Carr remained in jail.
Walls said at the time Carr has collapsed without prior sickness or other complaints while in jail and no foul play was indicated in her death.
Weinberg said the family disputes many of the facts surrounding Regina Carr's death.
"A lot of facts after some preliminary investigation were different than what had initially been reported," Weinberg said.
"This is just a tragedy. No one should be targeted based on their sexual preferences and improper medical care should not be tolerated."