Family filing lawsuit after Army veteran dies at Cuyahoga County Jail


CLEVELAND (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team learned a wrongful death lawsuit is being filed on behalf of a 36-year-old Army National Guard veteran who was one of several people to die inside the Cuyahoga County Jail two years ago.

His family and attorney held a news conference Friday afternoon to discuss the lawsuit.

Nicholas Colbert, a father of four, died in the Cuyahoga County Jail on May 10, 2019 after being arrested for a non-violent offense.

Colbert was a honorably discharged soldier, serving ten years in the Army National Guard at home and overseas. His family said he was fighting addiction.

“Despite informing jail staff of a suicide attempt five weeks prior to his arrest, Nicholas Colbert was not properly assessed, was not placed into the mental health pod, not offered treatment, not given medication or counseled,” said attorney Paul Cristallo, who is representing the family.

“Rather, surveillance video shows Nicholas Colbert taking the string/cord from his hoodie and tying it around his waist. He walks around the jail with the cord. Tragically, it’s this same cord that he uses to take his own life. Nicholas Colbert’s name has been added to the tragic list of victims whose life could have and should have been saved.”

A spokeswoman with Cuyahoga County declined to discuss the matter but noted once officials, “Receive the lawsuit the law department will review it.”

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