CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – A wrongful death lawsuit has been dismissed against the J. Reuben Long Detention Center and the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by a man after his son died at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center. The lawsuit, which was filed on May 30, listed the plaintiff as Michael Bland and the defendants as the City of Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach Police Department, Horry County, Horry County Sheriff’s Office, and J. Reuben Long Detention Center.
Although the Myrtle Beach Police Department and J. Reuben Long were dismissed from the suit, Horry County, the Horry County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Myrtle Beach are still defendants.
The causes of actions listed in the lawsuit include gross negligence-survival and wrongful death.
The lawsuit claims the plaintiff’s son, Bryon Bland, was arrested by Myrtle Beach police officers “on or about May 28, 2017” and “at the time of his arrest had ingested a quantity of drugs to include fentanyl.”
The lawsuit also claims that Bryon Bland “was exhibiting obvious signs and symptoms of being intoxicated and severely impaired by drugs/alcohol” and that MBPD officers “knew or should have known” Bryon Bland needed “immediate medical care and treatment before taking him to a detention facility for incarceration.”
The lawsuit further claims that correctional officers who performed booking and screening of Bryon Bland “should have easily been able to determine that” Bryon Bland was “highly impaired and under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.”
“After the Decedent was screened and booked, the Plaintiff is informed and believes that the Decedent was assigned to a unit with the Detention Center where he continued to exhibit outward signs and symptoms of severe impairment and drug withdrawal,” the lawsuit said. “At this time the medical and correctional staff employed by the Defendants knew or should have known that the Decedent needed to be seen and assessed by a physician or sent to the nearest medical facility for evaluation, treatment and assessment.”
“Their failure to take these actions was a gross breach in the appropriate standard of care. Additionally, the Plaintiff is informed and believes that the Decedent may have been allowed to ingest additional fentanyl while a detainee in the facility,” the lawsuit also said. Allowing the Decedent to obtain access to additional narcotic medication was a gross breach in the appropriate standard of care.”
Bryon Bland died around 4:10 p.m. on May 30, 2017, according to the lawsuit. An autopsy was reportedly performed on May 31, 2017 around 3:30 p.m. and “the pathology results indicated a positive drug screen at a toxic level for fentanyl.”
“As a further result, and because of the Defendants’ reckless, willful, and grossly negligent conduct, which ultimately caused the wrongful death of Bryon Bland, this Plaintiff is entitled to actual, consequential, and punitive damages in an amount to be determined by a jury in accordance with the law and evidence in this case,” added the lawsuit.
The full lawsuit can be read here.