Allegheny County Jail being sued over former inmate's death

PITTSBURGH — The Allegheny County Jail is facing a new lawsuit over the death of a man in their care who was allegedly denied access to seizure medication.

Frank Smart, 39, was in the jail in January 2015 after he was arrested on forgery and other charges dealing with scalping Steelers tickets. Smart suffered a seizure and died days after his arrest.

Smart’s family’s attorney said his death was the result of a lack of medical care because he wasn’t given his daily dose of seizure medication.


“He did not receive any meds for 24 hours and this is someone that needed that medication, life or death situation. For this person, (it was a) lack of medication that caused him to have seizure and die.” Attorney George Kontos said.

Kontos said Smart told a nurse he required the medicine daily, but the policies weren't followed.

According to the civil lawsuit, Kontos argues that employees at the jail had issues with what happened the night Smart died. Kontos said several employees testified that they were so concerned about what they saw that they couldn’t sleep at night. He said employees took that information to their supervisors and were told to stay quiet.

Kontos said his client's family just wants to make sure this doesn't happen again and changes are made.

“If some of these policies were followed, perhaps this tragedy never would've happened. That wasn't the case,” he said.

Channel 11 reached out to county leaders for a comment, but they said they do not discuss lawsuits. Stay with Channel 11 News and for continuing coverage.