Federal lawsuit claims Jefferson County Jail left inmate to lie in waste for a week

BENTON — A recently filed federal civil rights lawsuit is claiming staff of the Jefferson County Jail forced a female inmate to lie and sleep in human waste for nearly a week, while ignoring her repeated requests for medical attention.

According to Laura Beneway’s lawsuit, she was arrested on July 3rd and by the next day had become ill from opiate withdrawal.

Beneway claims the jail’s nurse did not implement any opiate withdrawal protocol, and despite Beneway’s request, said she could not go to the hospital.

According to WSIL-TV, the federal complaint, filed on November 6, says Beneway became so sick she couldn’t get out of bed and ultimately “defecated on herself.”

The complaint says despite Beneway repeatedly asking staff for help, no one came and she remained in her soiled uniform and bed for approximately six days.

When a nurse arrived on July 12th, Beneway could not walk and had to be showered in a wheelchair. She claims she showed the nurse a pressure sore on her left buttock that had developed over the previous days and she was finally taken to the hospital on July 13, where she was diagnosed with a Stage 2 bed sore.

Jefferson County, Jefferson County Sheriff Travis Allen, and several staff members, including a nurse and doctor, are named in the suit.

Beneway was released from jail in July, but was arrested again in late November and is currently back in the jail.

Sheriff Travis Allen and the attorney who represents him and the other jail officials named in the suit said they could not comment on pending litigation.