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Daughter of woman who died in Shelby County Jail sues county, sheriff

Published 2:56pm Friday, September 28, 2012

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

Shelby County resident Brittne A. Bell is suing on behalf of her mother who passed away in the Shelby County Jail after allegedly being denied medical care.

Bell is suing Shelby County, Sheriff Chris Curry, Healthcare LLC, the town of Harpersville, Harpersville Mayor Theoangelo Perkins and Judicial Corrections Services Inc.

Bell’s mother, Rebecca Lynn Allred, 45, passed away May 18, 2011, due to liver failure, according to the lawsuit filed Sept. 18 by attorney Mary-Ellen Bates. Allred was incarcerated May 13, 2011, for an unpaid fine issued by Harpersville Municipal Court for an expired license tag.

The lawsuit stated Allred was indigent at the time of her arrest, and was unable to secure bail money. Allred’s bail money equaled the amount of the fine, as well as fees added by Judicial Correction Services, a private company that handled probation services for Harpersville.

According to a  release from JCS, the company “only provided supervision services to Harpersville, did not arrest people for Harpersville and played no part at all in Ms. Allred’s incarceration.”

According to the suit, Allred’s son, Dustin Allred, visited his mother May 15, and he “observed her to be in apparently ill health.” Allred allegedly visited the jail nurse at least three times, and was “turned away by the medical providers with no treatment of any sort,” the suit stated.

Additionally, fellow inmates allegedly used their phone privileges to contact Dustin Allred to “inform him of his mother’s failing health,” and, according to the suit, Dustin Allred left five messages for the jail’s medical staff May 16.

According to the suit, if Allred had been given “even rudimentary medical treatment,” her condition would “not have progressed to fatality.”

“Sadly, however, jail personnel repeatedly and callously denied her the right to medical treatment of any sort, refusing to even see her and attempt a diagnosis,” the lawsuit stated.

Phone calls to Shelby County attorney Butch Ellis and Birmingham attorney Mary-Ellen Bates were not immediately returned.

  • shelbilly

    Whats BOGUS is being in jail over such a small fine and
    FEES. The court system is in business to collect MONEY!!
    The County and Harpersville and JCS should have to pay
    through the nose for what they did to this lady. When you put someone in jail over such a trivia charge as an expired tag they could at least provide some medical assitance to the person or release them. It’s all about money, if you do not have any JAIL FOR YOU no matter your health. We are living in tough times for some people, maybe the son or daughter did not have the resources to pay thier mothers fine, did you ever think of that?
    No from your comment John they are just deadbeats.
    Shelby County is in buisness to collect money not pay any out, I bet they beat this and do not pay a dime.

  • John Erwin

    So the daughter can hire an attorney an sue everyone but can’t bail her momma out. And the son can visit her in jail but can’t bail his momma out. FOR AN EXPIRED TAG. Wow they really loved her didn’t they. Another bogus lawsuit. I hope I pull jury duty for this one.

    • goontastic

      Likely the lawyer thinks that it is an easy win, and was willing to take a percentage of whatever she wins. Meaning no money up front required, and might not even have to pay if she loses somehow.

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