Former inmate sues Grinstead
When Stephen Pogline broke Christopher Hahs’ jaw in the county jail, it cost the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office $20,000 in medical bills.
Now the assault could cost the sheriff a lot more.
Hahs and his wife, Ishia Lang, are suing Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead, the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and Pogline for the lost income and emotional distress Hahs’ injury caused. They say their losses exceed $225,000.
While Pogline and Hahs were inmates in the Moffat County Jail, Pogline attacked Hahs and broke his jaw.
Hahs had two surgeries after the assault. He had 14 of his teeth removed and a titanium plate put in the left side of his jaw. His remaining teeth are dying, according to the suit.
Hahs’ attorney, Sandra Gardner, filed suit in district court last week.
The suit alleges that Grinstead and his office failed to protect Hahs while he was in their custody.
Hahs was in jail on charges of harassment, criminal mischief and first degree criminal trespass. The last charge is a felony. Hahs now lives in El Paso County.
In September, Pogline was sentenced to eight years in prison for assaulting Hahs and for possession of .11 grams of methamphetamine.
Jail cameras filmed the assault. It appeared Pogline and Hahs were having a conversation before Pogline struck Hahs two times, Deputy District Attorney Amy Fitch said at Pogline’s trial.
Hahs’ medical expenses cost Moffat County $20,000 and ran the jail’s health-care fund over budget.
The county’s insurance company will refer the case to a claims adjuster, who will in turn refer it to an attorney. That attorney will represent Grinstead as a public official, Moffat County attorney Kathleen Taylor said. Grinstead also is being sued as an individual. He could not be reached for comment.
Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or rgebhart@ craigdailypress.com.
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