Molly English-Bowers Sep. 16, 2015, 12:29pm


The family of a Harrison County sheriff's deputy is suing state of Texas departments and individuals, alleging wrongful death and other charges.

Jan Rogers Freeman, as representative for the estate of Michael Neal Freeman, Jennifer Page Scoggins, Laurie Lynn Caves and Ashley Michelle Kirkland filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas against Ryan Brannan, commissioner of the Texas Department of Insurance, the Division of Workers' Compensation, state Attorney General Ken Paxton, JI Specialty Services Inc., York Risk Services Group Inc., York employee Diana Maldonado and the Texas Association of Counties Government Risk Management Pool, alleging wrongful death and gross negligence.

According to the complaint, while working June 28, 2007, Michael Freeman was injured in a motor vehicle collision with another vehicle driven by a criminal suspect. The suit says his initial injury was a large, left-sided herniated disk. On July 25, 2011, Freeman underwent a second neck surgery where a deep infection was present and he ultimately wound up a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic, the suit states.

In the course of treating Freeman, each defendant played a part in his death Sept. 8, 2013, the lawsuit charges.

The plaintiffs allege wrongful death, gross negligence and, because Freeman was disabled, Maldonado, JI Specialty Risk Services and York Risk Services Group had a duty to act on his behalf. The family further charges the Texas Workers' Compensation Act violates the plaintiffs' guarantees of equal protection under the Texas Constitution as well as the United States Constitution.

The lawsuit accuses the Texas Association of Counties Government Risk Management Pool with deliberate indifference which led to the death of Freeman.

The plaintiffs seek damages, attorney fees, interests, court costs and any further relief to which the they may be entitled. They are represented by attorney John E. Gibson of The Law Offices of John Gibson in Lubbock.

Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas case number 2:15-cv-01507-JRG-RSP.

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