Putnam County, Sheriff Farris Facing Lawsuit In 2018 Inmate Death

The death of a Putnam County inmate in 2018 has led to a lawsuit against the county and jail officials.

The parents of 39-year-old Jerry Brian Meadows are seeking $2.5 million following their son’s death on Feb. 2, 2018. Putnam County, Sheriff Eddie Farris and Jail Administrator Tim Nash are listed as the defendants in the case.

Meadows’ parents and their attorneys officially submitted a 40-page complaint to the Middle District of Tennessee Federal Court in January. The complaint alleges that Farris and Nash neglected their duties and did not offer proper care to Meadows when he became ill.

Meadows first began complaining of extreme headaches on or around Jan. 20, 2018. Meadows’ mother learned of her son’s pain and requested jail staff to get him medical treatment, while jail staff stated Meadows had an ear infection and possibly the flu.

Meadow’s mother would find out a week later through a mother of a cellmate that her son’s condition had worsened and was extremely sick.

The report continues in saying that Meadows appeared extremely weak during visitation with his father on Jan. 27, barely able to speak, walk, or hold a phone.

Meadows was transported to Cookeville Regional Medical Center later that day, diagnosed with a headache and acute sinusitis, and prescribed an antibiotic.

The complaint states Meadows’ condition worsened after suffering two seizures on Jan. 28. According to the report, Nash stated that Meadows was “faking everything” and later implied Meadows had used drugs causing the unusual behavior and symptoms.

On Jan. 30, Meadows was placed in a holding cell with five other inmates to be transported to the Bledsoe County Corrections Complex in Pikeville. The report states the inmates continuously begged jail staff to give Meadows medical attention due to his worsening condition.

The complaint indicates Officer Cody Elrod yelled at Meadows during transport to Pikeville for slumping in the seat and trying to escape. Elrod then allegedly slammed Meadows back into the seat, causing bruising on his ankles and knots on his forehead.

The report continues in saying a transport team from Pikeville eventually transported Meadows to the corrections facility themselves. The officers conducted a drug screening in which Meadows passed before transporting him to Cumberland Medical Center in Crossville on Jan. 31.

Meadows was transported to Nashville General Hospital On Feb. 1 after being placed on a ventilator. Medical officials determined Meadows had become brain dead before his parents pulled him off life support on Feb. 2.

Farris, Nash, and officer Cody Elrod are being represented by attorney Dan Rader III, while Putnam County will be represented by county attorney Jeff Jones.

Rader said Friday neither he or his clients will release a statement while the lawsuit is ongoing.

The lawsuit also lists jail healthcare provider Southern Health Partners, Inc. and a female medical staffer labeled as “Jane Doe” as co-defendants.

Published by Logan Weaver

News Reporter and Graphic Designer

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