October 16, 2012
Brandon Milam said he was disfigured, lost his sense of smell and was still in pain from the July attack in the Warren County Regional Jail, according to his lawsuit.
Milam claims Timothy Schwartz and other inmates used gay slurs and threatened him for about a week before Schwartz bit off part of his nose and then spit the piece of flesh onto the floor.
The severed piece was found by another inmate. Doctors at a hospital in Nashville, Tenn., tried to reattach it but were unsuccessful, the lawsuit said.
"It's a real tragedy that this would happen in a protective custody setting, this outrageously violent act," M. Austin Mehr, one of Milam's attorneys, said this week. "It was just like an animal."
Milam, 26, faces a series of reconstructive surgeries that will cost tens of thousands of dollars, Mehr said.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for pain, suffering and medical expenses.
Schwartz was indicted on an assault charge and has pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Walter Hawkins, did not immediately return a call.
Defendants in the suit include the jail, its top official, the county and Schwartz.
Warren County Attorney Amy Milliken declined immediate comment, saying she had not yet seen the lawsuit.
Bartley Hagerman, another attorney for Milam, said jail guards were slow to respond.
Milam has since been placed on house arrest, Mehr said.
Kentucky Equality Federation, a gay rights and civil rights group that has offered assistance to Milam, has urged federal authorities to pursue a case against Schwartz as a hate crime.