Family plans to sue over jailhouse death of mentally ill son

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The family of a mentally ill man who died in an eastern Idaho jail after not eating or drinking for several days has taken the first steps toward filing a lawsuit against Bannock County officials.

Kim and Shauna Quick filed the notice of tort claim Tuesday morning against Bannock County, saying Sheriff Lorin Nielsen and several jail employees were responsible for their son's death because they knew he was in the midst of a mental health crisis and wasn't consuming food or water, and yet failed to bring him to a hospital for treatment, instead watching him die.

According to the tort claim, 40-year-old Lance Quick was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor drunken driving on Dec. 8, 2018 but he was actually in the midst of a manic episode caused by bipolar disorder. He died six days later of dehydration.

Nielsen said he couldn't comment in detail on the claim, but said Idaho as a state has a "major problem" with the lack of appropriate facilities for those who are mentally ill. He said jails aren't equipped to deal with people who have mental illness.

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