A lawsuit claiming York County jailers are responsible for the suicide of an alleged killer who died in custody in 2013 is now in federal court.
A second lawsuit blames medical personnel for the death of Joshua Grose, an alleged killer of two people, including his stepmother.
A third lawsuit alleges misconduct against the sheriff’s office and some officers made by fired detention officer Michael Billioni.
Grose, 34, was arrested by York County Sheriff’s Office deputies Oct. 18, 2013, on two counts of murder after he allegedly ran over his stepmother, Sandra Grose, and a neighbor, Sandy Thomas, outside Rock Hill. Grose also was charged with beating an uncle almost to death. Grose was taken to jail, where he died.
Grose’s biological mother, Karen Patranovich, has sued the sheriff’s office, and Piedmont Medical Center and its EMS service, blaming police and health care providers for her son’s death.
Prosecutors ruled in 2014 after a State Law Enforcement Division investigation that jailers acted correctly and no criminal charges would be filed. Former Sheriff Bruce Bryant, now a South Carolina legislator, also said his officers acted properly.
Lawyers for the York County Sheriff’s Office and the hospital deny all the allegations made by Patranovich.
“The detention officers acted properly,” said Robert Garfield of Columbia, the lawyer representing the detention officers in the wrongful death lawsuit.
Patranovich filed a lawsuit first in state court claiming jailers’ actions and inaction caused Grose’s death while in custody. The lawsuit alleges Grose was suffering from mental illness when he tried to drown himself in a jail toilet, then was shot repeatedly with an electric stun gun and put in the restraint chair in the jail. Grose continually banged his head against a wall while in the chair until he died.
Patranovich alleges Grose was punched in the face by one jail officer and left without supervision to die. That lawsuit is now in federal court.
Patranovich also has sued Piedmont Medical Center and Piedmont EMS in York County civil court for wrongful death and negligence. The hospital has denied all the allegations, court records show. That suit remains pending in York County civil court.
Grose is responsible for his own death, hospital lawyers say in court documents in that suit, because he threatened EMS technicians who tried to help him, resisted attempts to care for him, and failed to seek help for his mental or psychological problems.
Grose did all that himself, “before he killed two people, seriously injured another, then committed suicide,” lawyers for PMC wrote in a response to the lawsuit.
Billioni also sued Bryant and the sheriff’s office, claiming his federal civil rights were violated after he talked about the incident and alleged wrongdoing by fellow jailers after looking at jail video of the incident.
All three suits remain pending.
Efforts to obtain comment from Patranovich’s lawyer were unsuccessful.