ELPO receives verdict for defense in recent trial

by Mandy Hicks

A jury recently issued a verdict for the defense in the case of Johney Finn, Administrator of the Estate of Shannon Ray Finn, et al. vs  Warren County Fiscal Court , et al. in U.S. District Court. ELPO attorneys Buzz English and Aaron Smith represented Warren County, four jail workers and the jail’s medical director. The county was sued for the death of Shannon Finn, an inmate who died in 2009 in a county facility.

The former inmate’s family sued the county, believing that his death could have been prevented with better medical attention.

“This was a tragic death, and there is no question about that,” said Buzz English following the trial. “Our duty as attorneys was to help the jury see that the death was not preventable, and that no one at the jail had any prior knowledge of the inmate’s health.”

The Bowling Green Daily News reported on the case extensively. In the story that was published after the verdict, the newspaper summed up the trial in this way:

English’s closing argument touched on evidence from medical records and testimony from expert witnesses that Finn’s alcohol withdrawal was brought about by lifestyle choices made over the course of his life, including alcohol and drug abuse that Finn did not acknowledge on a jail intake form when he was arrested in 2009.

English also brought up testimony from expert witnesses suggesting that Finn died from an undiagnosed heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiac myopathy, rather than delirium tremens.

“(Finn) had a condition that nobody knew about,” English said. “Nobody could look at him and tell that he had that heart condition.”