Paralyzed inmate denied wheelchair, ‘slammed’ around cell by SC jail guards, lawsuit claims

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A former Horry County jail inmate paralyzed from the waist down was “forcefully propelled, slammed and thrust” around a booking cell and denied a wheelchair, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

An attorney for Brian Gore filed a 16-page complaint against the J. Reuben Long Detention Center and the Horry County Sheriff’s Office alleging negligence and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The claims stem from Gore’s arrest on April 17, 2022.

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At the time of his arrest, Gore was in a vehicle and did not have a wheelchair with him, but the lawsuit claims his condition was “readily known” to authorities because of previous incarcerations.

The lawsuit also claims that when Gore was being processed into the jail, he was not provided a wheelchair and that the officers repeatedly accused him of “lying about his status as a paraplegic, told him that he was not paralyzed and consistently told him to stand up after being physically thrust around.”

Gore required extensive medical care to his feet, ankles, legs and buttocks due to his mishandling, according to the lawsuit, which alleges that he was “frequently harassed and hassled” by J. Reuben Long guards, inflicting emotional distress and severe embarrassment.

While in custody, Gore’s lawsuit claims he had to “self-catheterize” multiple times and that he frequently sat in his own waste for hours and days at a time. That led to the development of urinary tract infections and “long-lasting” bladder damage.

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Gore was also refused a shower chair despite multiple requests, and a fall in September 2022 led to “significant burns due to the temperature of the water being unnecessarily hot,” according to the suit.

The lawsuit also claims that guards kept Gore from reading or sending mail or otherwise contacting relatives while he was in the jail.

A spokesperson for the Horry County Sheriff’s Office said the department would not comment on a pending lawsuit.

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