[WATCH] $10 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Macomb County Jail Over Inmate’s Overdose Death

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – The controversy surrounding the Macomb County Jail took another turn this week as a new multi-million dollar lawsuit has been filed over an inmate’s death.

Daniel Byrd, 42, overdosed on prescription pills while in custody in November 2015. The Local 4 Defenders investigated Byrd’s death as part of an ongoing look into an unusually high number of in-custody deaths.

The lawsuit is asking for $10 million. It was filed against Macomb County, the Macomb County Jail and the private medical company Correct Care Solutions.

Byrd’s family said they hope this forces the county to make drastic changes in who they lock up and how inmates are treated.

Local 4 had exclusive video of Byrd’s body being wheeled out of the Macomb County Jail. The cause of death was intoxication by multiple prescription medications. It was troubling that Byrd died on his 23rd day behind bars for a nonviolent probation violation.

There is very little chance Byrd smuggled drugs into the jail and hid them for so long, so where did he get methadone, a drug the jail doesn’t even prescribe?

“Was it the guards giving it to him?” asked Greg Rohl, Byrd’s family’s attorney. “The medical staff couldn’t give it to him. Was it another patient? An inmate?”

Byrd’s sister fought repeatedly to get answers. She hopes the lawsuit will force jail staff members to come clean on her brother’s death.

“I just want the Macomb County Jail and any other jail to give them dignity,” said Malinda Odisho, Byrd’s sister. “Do what’s right. Change whatever is not working. Don’t let other families feel the way I do.”

Byrd’s cellmate went to staff members to tell them there was something clearly wrong with Byrd.

“He was getting kookier and kookier,” Byrd’s cellmate said. “He was getting worse and worse.”

The family wants to put a stop to the unusually high number of deaths and suicides at the Macomb County Jail, hoping the case will send a strong message.

“One time, two times, three times, four times,” Rohl said. “When does it stop? When are they forced to be accountable?”

The lawsuit said the medical staff should have responded to Byrd’s illness and recognized that he needed to be hospitalized. Byrd died on his jail cell floor.

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