Ohio man hurt jumping from jail ledge sues officials

COLUMBUS — A man who jumped from a second-floor jail ledge onto a concrete floor and broke both of his legs and ankles is suing five southeastern Ohio counties claiming the jail denied him medication and care while withdrawing from an anti-anxiety drug.

The Zanesville Times-Recorder reports Richard White’s federal lawsuit says White’s doctor had been tapering him off benzodiazepines before his February 2016 arrest for a parole violation.

White was jailed at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail, which is used by Hocking, Morgan, Vinton, Perry and Adams counties. He has sued commissioners from those counties and the jail’s warden.

An attorney for the insurance company that provides coverage to the jail couldn’t be reached for comment.

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $75,000.

In April 2017, Robert Seman Jr., 48, jumped to his death from a fourth-floor balcony inside the Mahoning County Courthouse in Youngstown while being led from a hearing in his death penalty case. Seman was accused of raping a 10-year-old girl and then setting fire to the home the girl shared with her grandparents in April 2015. All three victims died in the blaze.

Seman committed suicide one day before jury selection was to begin. He was accompanied by two deputies, unshackled and dressed for court in street clothes when he unexpectedly ran toward the edge and leaped over.

Seman’s case was being prosecuted in Portage County because of all the publicity surrounding the case.