PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Attorneys for several people named in the $60 million Jamycheal Mitchell wrongful death lawsuit against the Hampton Roads Regional Jail argued today that the suit against their clients should be dropped.
Nearly 50 separate people are named in the suit. Wednesday, attorneys representing 14 of those people argued in federal court that the complaint doesn’t have enough strength for their clients to remain on the suit.
About 10 of those represented in court Wednesday are jail guards. Their lawyer argued that the 150-page complaint filed by the Mitchell family attorney Mark Krudys doesn’t show they contributed specifically to Jamycheal’s death.
Even if there were allegations the any of those jail staffers kicked or dragged Mitchell, their attorney says there are “no allegations of when they denied him food or how they denied him food.”
The attorney represents 21 total jail guards, but is only applying the motion to dismiss for 10 of them.
Another person wanting the case dropped: Gail Hart, the former Eastern State hospital worker who placed Mitchell’s transfer paperwork in a bottom drawer instead of processing his move from jail to the hospital.
An attorney for the former director of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services also filed a motion, saying she was acting as a state agent, and therefore should have immunity.
Mitchell’s family attorney said he’s not suing her as a state employee but is suing her, personally.
Three other people named in the lawsuit who want the suit dismissed are two clerks at the Portsmouth General District Court and a nurse with NaphCare, the medical provider contracted by HRRJ at the time of Mitchell’s death.
There are still three-dozen people who did not file a motion to drop the suit against them, including the top ranking jail staff at the time of Mitchell’s death, and many medical staffers.
Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leonard did not issue a ruling Wednesday, noting the case is a complicated one. He said he will work as expeditiously as possible.
Stay with WAVY.com for updates to this developing story.