NewsLEX 18 Investigates


Judge denies motion to dismiss wrongful death lawsuit involving man who died at Franklin County jail

Mother: Dylan Stratton died because of negligence
Posted at 10:59 AM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 19:25:35-04

(LEX 18) — A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit against the Franklin County Regional Jail.

21-year-old Dylan Stratton was arrested on January 17, 2019, on drug and wanton endangerment charges. Stratton's mother, Leslie Glass of Lawrenceburg, claims her son had a seizure and then slowly detoxed to death due to a lack of emergency medical care. Stratton was found dead in his cell six days after being taken into custody.

The federal lawsuit involves several defendants, including Franklin County, Kentucky, Jailer Rick Rogers, and thirty-three deputy jailers employed by the jail. The lawsuit describes days of lack of treatment and suffering from withdrawal symptoms related to drug use.

Read the full lawsuit below:

Glass claims her son died in the jail due to gross negligence. The complaint states, 'Dylan would not have died but for Defendants' gross, unconscionable and deliberate indifference to the tortures of his untreated benzodiazepine withdrawal.'

"If you had taken him to the hospital, he would not have died," Greg Belzley, an attorney for the Stratton family, said.

LEX 18 obtained hours and hours of video showing Stratton inside his jail cell along with two video court appearances. Attorneys representing the family claim the jail's video shows Stratton's deteriorating health. Belzley said in an interview, "I challenge anybody to watch that video and not be appalled."

The lawsuit claims Southern Health Partners, the medical company hired to treat inmates, "fabricated" health records after Stratton's death. SHP denies such a claim and wrote in a legal response to the suit that its employees acted in "good faith."

In a media release, Frankfort Police said, "The Frankfort Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division conducted a thorough investigation and deemed this event was not criminal in nature. After Mr. Stratton's autopsy was performed by the Medical Examiner, the Franklin County Coroner provided the Frankfort Police Department with a death certificate that concluded Mr. Stratton's cause of death was natural causes with contributing factors of obesity and chronic drug abuse. The investigation was closed at that time by the Frankfort Police Department."

Read the full motion to dismiss below: