Civil suit heads to trial |
Amy Hamilton

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Civil suit heads to trial

Attorneys: Grinstead not liable for inmate's injuries

A civil case lodged by a former inmate of the Moffat County Jail against Sheriff Buddy Grinstead could end up in front of a jury.

Motions filed by Grinstead’s attorneys Monday state that the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office is not a proper defendant in the case and that neither Grinstead nor staff in the Sheriff’s Office “had no control or right to control” the inmate-to-inmate assault at the jail. Grinstead’s attorneys also requested a six-person jury trial.

Former inmate Christopher Hahs and his wife, Ishia Lang, are suing Grinstead, the Moffat Coun-ty Sheriff’s Office and Ste-ven Pogline for an incident that occ-urred in the Moffat County Jail in May 2004.

Hahs said he suffered lost in-come and emotional distress when Pogline broke his jaw while the two were inmates at the jail. He estimates that damages exceed $225,000, and jail officials and workers failed to keep Hahs safe from Pogline, according to the suit.

Hahs had two surgeries after the assault. He had 14 of his teeth removed and a titanium plate put in his left jaw. His remaining teeth are dying, according to the suit.

The assault cost the Sheriff’s Office $20,000 in medical bills, which pushed the jail’s health-care fund over budget.

Grinstead said Wednesday that he could not comment on the case.

A judge has to accept or reject motions in the case before it moves forward.