Deaf former inmate files complaint against jail

A former jail inmate who is deaf has filed a federal complaint against a southwestern Washington county alleging his rights were violated under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Columbian reports 42-year-old Eric Studer is seeking $200,000 in damages as well as injunctive relief to force the Clark County Jail to fully accommodate inmates who are deaf or hearing impaired.

Roggendorf Law of Lake Oswego, Ore., and Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala of Tacoma on Dec. 2 filed the complaint and demand for jury trial.

The complaint says the jail discriminated against Studer, who is fluent in American Sign Language, and all inmates who are deaf.

Studer contends the county knew he was deaf based on prior incarcerations but jail staff still failed to accommodate him.

Clark County Jail Chief Ric Bishop says he cannot comment on the specifics of the case.