The $10-million dollar compensatory lawsuit, along with punitive damages against individual defendants, was filed in United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee at Jackson.
The lawsuit indicated the civil rights actions under the Americans with Disabilities Act, are a result from events that occurred during the pre-trial detention of Higgins at the Obion County Jail, during the early morning hours of March 25th of 2019.
The lawsuit states the events culminated in his unnecessary death.
The lawsuit named six unlawful actions, that included failing to provide Higgins with adequate medical care or to summons care, excessive use of force and failing to adequately train jail and law enforcement personnel about proper medical care.
Following his arrest by Union City police, Higgins was taken to the Obion County Jail, and later transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital.
Officials at Baptist Memorial later notified the Sheriff’s Office to report Higgins has died.
An autopsy performed at the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in Memphis revealed the cause of death as “excited delirium due to methamphetamine toxicity”.
Defendants in the lawsuit include the County of Obion, the Obion County Sheriff’s Office, City of Union City, the Union City Police Department, along with Union City police officer Robert Thomas Osborne and Obion County Jail officers Mary Broglin, Waylon Spaulding and Brendon Sanford.
The lawsuit was filed by the law office of David L. Cooper in Nashville, and Budge and Heipt of Seattle, Washington.