We learned from CorrectionsOne.com that Cobbs' wife, Tricolia, filed a lawsuit Guilford County Superior Court accusing the sheriff, Guilford County Sheriff's Office and Prison Health Services of negligence in the Aug. 19, 2009, death of her husband. The family is seeking triple damages under the state's Wrongful Death Act.
The family accuses the defendants of using excessive force and having insufficient medical tools or training to handle a patient who has been hit with a 50,000-volt Taser.
"You shouldn't die if you are waiting in jail on charges. It shouldn't be a death sentence," Steve Bowden, the attorney representing the family, said.Sheriff BJ Barnes said separate investigations had cleared his deputies of any wrongdoing.
In July, the district attorney announced that the officers acted appropriately and without excessive force, and provided appropriate medical attention.
An autopsy did not determine a cause of death. Cobb could have died of respiratory arrest or cardiac arrhythmia caused by an underlying cardiac disease, both triggered by the stress of the struggle, according to the report.
The state's chief medical examiner did include in the report that he believes restraints played a role in the death. Cobbs had been handcuffed and shackled at the ankles.
Cobbs had been in jail for about a year, his family said. He was awaiting trial on charges of kidnapping, robbery with a dangerous weapon and a probation violation.