The family of a teen found dead inside her cell in January at Lincoln Village Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Elizabethtown filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday against nine current or former facility employees and two state officials, according a Louisville news report.
Gynnya McMillen, 16, was found dead Jan. 11 at Lincoln Village, about 24 hours after arriving from Shelby County.
Investigators in March said McMillen died from a rare heart condition known as sudden cardiac arrhythmia. John Tilley, secretary of the state Justice Cabinet, said no trauma, internal injury or any type of asphyxiation contributed to her death.
In the lawsuit filed in Western District Court of Kentucky in Louisville, the family claims McMillen wasn’t properly monitored and alleges workers falsified bed checks, while McMillen was in custody, a WAVE-TV report states. The station also reported there is evidence on a surveillance video that the teen was forced to take off a hoodie with an Aikido control technique and McMillen was restrained behind a counter that wasn’t viewable by video camera.
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McMillen was sent to Lincoln Village after an altercation with her mother.
The family is seeking damages, according to the lawsuit.
The suit also alleges Reginald Windham, one of two former Lincoln Village employees indicted on misdemeanor charges related to McMillen’s death, watched her from outside her cell as she took her “last gasps and dying breaths and final uncontrollable movements and seizure,” WAVE reported from the suit.
The suit alleges nobody tried to resuscitate McMillen.
McMillen had a common antibiotic in her blood known as azithromycin or Z-PAC and it was not administered by the facility, state officials said.
Windham and former employee Victor Holt previously were indicted by a Hardin County grand jury and were fined.