He may have had a case, but the statute of limitations has probably expired. I believe it is 3 years. So even if he want to sue, he waited too long and lost his chance.
There are exceptions to the statute of limitations, including a possibility that he was "incapacitated" by a brain injury or certain kinds of mental illness. He should at least talk to an attorney about any potential exception to the statute of limitations. Normally, the statute of limitations would be 3 years from the date of the injury for that kind of claim.
If nothing else, he can file a complaint with the jail to put his grievance on record. There is no statute of limitations on getting the word out.
Beyond that, it is unclear if he would have a claim against the jail anyway. Much more detail would be needed to assess the likelihood that there is a viable claim.
There may be a statute of limitations problem, but discuss the facts and circumstances with a local civil rights attorney.
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