Federal lawsuit over James Watts III's death in Akron jail - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Federal lawsuit over death in Summit county jail

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James Watts III (Source: Summit County Sheriff) James Watts III (Source: Summit County Sheriff)
AKRON, OH (WOIO) -

A mother is suing Summit County leaders because her son died in Summit County Jail,  and the lawsuit says he'd been left to suffer.

We've found an explosive federal lawsuit over the death of James Watts III. 

In 2011, Akron Police arrested him on a drug charge. Watts was a heroin addict.

The suit says Watts had a history of bleeding ulcers and other problems. It also says, in jail, he screamed out for help, and other inmates tried to get him help. But he died in jail, five hours after a jail nurse last checked on him.

The medical examiner wrote, in the hours before Watts died, the average person should have seen he needed help right away.

The suit names the Summit County Sheriff at the time, jail guards, nurses and more.

Attorneys Sam Riotte and David Malik filed the suit. The same law office sued the Cuyahoga County Jail after singer Sean Levert died behind bars.

Levert suffered when he didn't get his anxiety medication, and he ultimately died from complications with a lung disease. That case ended with a 4 million dollar wrongful death settlement and changes in medical care at the Cuyahoga County Jail.

In the current case, we called the Summit County Executive's Office, and the office isn't talking since this is now a legal matter--a legal battle over warning signs and a death that maybe didn't have to happen.

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