TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Kate Prince on Sep 15, 2020

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, Just City and several attorneys today filed an amended complaint in federal court, building on a class action suit that calls for the release of “medically vulnerable” detainees from the Shelby County jail, the Commercial Appeal reports. The initial suit requested the release of around 300 detainees who are over 65 or have certain chronic conditions. The complaint alleges Shelby County has “utterly failed” to comply with Federal Judge Sheryl Lipman’s August order to remedy jail conditions that are rife with the risk of infection. The amended complaint states that "wholly ineffective" quarantine practices, non-testing of new arrestees and the failure to "seriously pursue" social distancing in sleeping quarters and during meals, pill calls, and while detainees use the phone has perpetuated risk of COVID-19 exposure. As of Sept. 11, nearly 240 detainees have contracted the virus at the jail.