Cuyahoga County sued over 2017 death of woman at problem-plagued jail

Cuyahoga County sued over 2017 death of woman at problem-plagued jail

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The daughter of a Cuyahoga County Jail inmate, who died while serving a three-day sentence for a DUI, filed a federal lawsuit against the county.

The family of 51-year old Robin Arraj said something has got to change.

It’s just the latest of many complaints against the county jail.

The lawsuit is being filed almost two years to the day after Arraj died while in custody at the Cuyahoga County Jail.

“I miss her terribly with tomorrow being the anniversary. I don’t think it was fair. I miss her a lot. My daughter misses her a lot and talks about her all the time. She was very close to her. And it’s been a huge impact to me. It changed my life completely,” said Arraj’s daughter, Nikki Pieciak.

Pieciak said her mother was a wonderful person who had problems.

She had COPD. She was on methadone and in a new federal lawsuit, Arraj’s daughter alleges jail officials should have known her mother would suffer from withdrawal during her three-day jail sentence.

“I believe if she would have had a proper medical assessment, especially if it were the day before she was about to have a massive heart attack, they would have noticed something was wrong,” said Pieciak.

There are currently both state and federal investigations into overcrowding and inmate deaths at the jail.

A report by the U.S. Marshals Service last year called conditions at the jail “inhumane: including a lack of medical care."

“I hope the county can see there is a problem down there somewhere and I totally believe in corrections. We need a corrections system, but we need one to be safe and reliable and to do what they’re supposed to do,” Pieciak said.

The family is not asking for a specific dollar amount in he suit. The union representing officers didn’t return our calls. The County does say it will defend itself.

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