Narcotics officer sues sheriff’s office over Fentanyl exposure

SCSO Deputy files lawsuit against department

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -"The officer started feeling light-headed which is one of the symptoms of being exposed to Fentanyl." That was a spokesperson for the Shelby County Sheriff’s office last August talking about former narcotics officer Charles Eldridge who filed a 13 page federal lawsuit after suffering two overdoses of Fentanyl from contaminated evidence.

It started July 31st last year when Eldridge was transporting evidence, Fentanyl, that was sealed to prevent contamination. The lawsuit says Eldridge was also transporting cash that was seized that but the narcotics team did not know it was also contaminated. It was not sealed and Eldridge experienced a Fentanyl overdose and had to administer Narcan.

He was taken to the hospital treated and went to work the next day. On August 15th Eldridge was driving his sheriff’s department vehicle he had been told was decontaminated. He turned the air conditioner on and started again experiencing symptoms of another Fentanyl overdose. He again gave himself two doses of Narcan and was taken to the hospital.

But after this episode the lawsuit says Eldridge started suffering panic attacks and anxiety. He said his vehicle was not properly decontaminated. Also listed in the lawsuit is a company called CorVel that worked with the Sheriff’s office. The complaint says CorVel allowed Eldridge to receive psychological treatment but would not approve treatment from a psychiatrist who could have prescribed medication.

The complaint states the problems created from the two overdoses caused Eldridge to miss taking his lieutenant’s exam which would have meant a promotion and pay increase. Eldridge still works for the Shelby County Sheriff’s office. A department spokesperson said there would be no comment because of the lawsuit. It is not clear how much money Eldridge is asking for. No one answered the door at Charles Eldridge’s home.

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