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Lawsuit filed against Milwaukee County, Sheriff Schmidt, former Sheriff Clarke and others in death of inmate

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A lawsuit has been filed against Milwaukee County and several employees at the Milwaukee County Jail after the death of an inmate in custody in 2016.

38-year old Kristina Fiebrink was taken to the county jail on August 24, 2016. She died after only four days in custody.

On Thursday, Fiebrink’s family filed a lawsuit against Milwaukee County, several employees at the Milwaukee County Jail, Sheriff Richard Schmidt, former Sheriff David Clarke and the medical organization in charge of healthcare at the jail.

The lawsuit claims that Fiebrink was addicted to heroin, cocaine, and alcohol, and was suffering withdrawals, but the jail did not provide her any medical care. The lawsuit claims she was suffering from sweats, tremors, hallucinations and several other symptoms. She was found dead in her cell on August 28. 2016.

The attorneys representing Fiebrink’s family say the jail violated her constitutional rights. They say there are reports she was screaming and crying throughout the night and when they went into the jail cell she was found dead.

"Once you’re in custody you can no longer take care of yourself and the people that have shackled you, that have put you in a cell, they are required to take care of your medical needs," said Attorney James Gende.

Armor Correctional Health Services who handle medical care at the jail sent CBS 58 a statement that says, "Armor Correctional Health Services is committed to providing quality care for its patients and it adheres to HIPAA privacy laws that prohibit discussing specific patient information. In addition, the company does not comment on current litigation. Our thoughts continue to be with the family."

The Corporation Counsel released a statement saying, "Ms. Friebrink’s death is yet another example of the terrible toll that opioids are wreaking on the Milwaukee County community. Acting Sheriff Schmidt and his staff seek to ensure the health and safety of all prisoners, including those with significantly compromised health due to years of drug abuse and addiction. District Attorney Chisholm found no criminal wrongdoing and the County expects to defeat these allegations in court."

No criminal charges have been filed in the case.

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