Albemarle Man Says He Was Injured by Inmate Work Crew, Files Lawsuit
The deputy superintendent of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, a supervisor and a former inmate are facing a hefty lawsuit. An Albemarle County man is suing for $10 million after he says he was hurt by a vehicle inmates were using during a work program.
Daniel Roe says he was riding his bike during a lunch break, and as he was rounding a curb near the Rivanna Trail he was hit and thrown off. Roe says he passed out and the inmates abandoned him.
Roe says his daily lunchtime bike ride started out like any other day until it took a turn for the worse.
"I took off from here, went across the bridge, went down the trail and I got about a quarter-mile and there was a curve there. I saw the Gator sitting there and it took off and came around that corner and ran me down like a dog and left me for dead," Roe said.
Roe says three inmates hit him. They were part of a work program supervised by the jail to clean up the area near the Rivanna Park. According to the complaint, the inmates were about a mile from the actual work site where they were supposed to be.
Roe says he was knocked unconscious for about 20 minutes and, when he came to, he was so badly injured he could barely move.
"I ripped my ear about half off, busted my clavicle, my collarbone in two places and deflated my lung," Roe said.
Roe also says he had 10 broken ribs and a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg that bled and became infected. Roe says the inmate, supervisor and deputy superintendent were grossly negligent.
Whether he can prevail in civil court raises serious questions in the legal community.
"There is some very complicated doctrines of sovereign immunity of when you can sue the state and when you can sue a jail and Virginia makes it very difficult to do that," said Lloyd Snook, NBC29's legal analyst.
As far as criminal responsibility, the Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office says it doesn't plan to bring criminal charges at this point.
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