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Adams Co. Sheriff and his department named in wrongful death suit


QUINCY (WGEM) — The Adams County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Brian VonderHaar are listed as defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit filed last month in Adams County Circuit Court.

Jeffrey Deutschman, whose law firm filed the suit on August 25, said it involves a death of inmate Garland Treadwell, who died in the Adams County Jail last year. 

“He reported having chest pains, so (officers) took him to the hospital and then brought him back. He reported having chest pains again a day later, so they took him to the hospital again. A doctor said he needed to see a cardiologist and scheduled an appointment for the following Monday. Monday came around, and they didn’t take him to the appointment,” Deutschman said.  “They said they were understaffed.”

Deutschman said Treadwell suffered a massive heart attack and died on September 11, 2019.

Court documents show Treadwell was charged with two counts of burglary on December 26, 2018.  That case was listed as dismissed on the day he died.

The plaintiff in the civil case is listed as Dan Treadwell, who is Garland Treadwell’s son and the special administrator for Garland’s estate.

The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 in damages from the Adams County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Brian VonderHaar. It claims both parties had the duty to control, manage, maintain, and operate their facility with reasonable care for the safety of their inmates, that includes allowing inmates to get necessary medical attention.

The case is assigned to Judge Kevin Tippey. No court date is scheduled.

VonderHaar declined to comment on the lawsuit and referred questions to Adams County State’s Attorney Gary Farha.

Farha referred questions to Quincy attorney Jim Hansen, who Farha said is defending the county in the lawsuit. A message left at Hansen’s office was not immediately returned.

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Gary Davis

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