In what is the fourth lawsuit filed against Carter County officials, and former officials, the family of Michael Manos, 44, is seeking $75,000 in damages for his death while he was incarcerated at the Carter County Jail.
Jeanne Bennett, whom the lawsuit states is Manos’ mother, has filed suit against the Carter County Board of Commissioners, Former Sheriff Milton Anthony in his individual capacity, Sheriff Chris Bryant in his official capacity, and a number of deputies who were all employed at the jail during the time of Manos’ death.
The lawsuit alleges that Manos’ eighth amendment and fourteenth amendment rights were violated during his time at the Carter County Jail.
According to the complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Manos was booked into the Carter County Detention Center in Oct. 2015. After being in jail for a little over two weeks, Manos was found unresponsive in his cell — and ultimately was declared deceased at Mercy Hospital.
The lawsuit states that Manos had been previously diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. The plaintiff alleges that the deputies at the jail did not give Manos his medication for a period of time and because of that he entered a manic state that resulted in his death.
Deputies found Manos unresponsive in his cell on Nov. 7, 2015. The Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service was dispatched to the jail. Medical personnel found Manos covered in feces in his cell, which was also covered in feces, the lawsuit states. SOAS left the jail at 10:41 p.m. to take Manos to Mercy Hospital.
Manos’ departure from the jail occurred “almost five hours after he was first discovered in a highly unresponsive and rapidly declining state and almost one hour after Manos was reportedly first found completely unresponsive,” according to the complaint.
He was pronounced dead on arrival at 10:48 p.m. at the hospital. According to the lawsuit, EMS personnel reported that Manos was in cardiac arrest when they first encountered him, and they were unable to intubate him due to the large amount of feces blocking his airway.
The suit states that the Carter County Jail Incident Report leaves out details of Manos’ death that were recorded in SOAS’ reports.
Bennett is seeking retribution, claiming that Manos received cruel and unusual punishment violating his eighth and fourteenth amendment rights. The lawsuit also claims that Oklahoma’s state constitution was violated under the Cruel and Unusual Punishment and Deliberate Indifference clauses in Article II.
Bennett is being represented by Daniel E. Smolen and Robert M. Blakemore, of Smolen, Smolen & Roytman, PLLC. Carter County is being represented by Amber Gooch of Collins, Zorn, Wagner, in Oklahoma City.
Gooch has not filed a response to the complaint in court and has not returned The Ardmoreite’s request for comment on any pending litigation against the county.