Inmate dies, family files medical negligence lawsuit

Getting arrested and going to jail when you have medical conditions is almost like having to gamble for your life. You are unable to make appointments for yourself to get the treatments you need. You are totally dependent on the jail medical staff to take care of your needs. A recent lawsuit filed in the Jefferson County Circuit Court in Kentucky shows just how dependent inmates truly are when they are incarcerated.

The lawsuit, which was filed against Corizon and the Metro Corrections director, claims that medical negligence led to the death of an inmate. The inmate died on July 24, 2012, after being in the custody of Metro Corrections for a mere 27 hours. The woman, who had congestive heart failure and liver failure, didn't receive her medications while she was in the jail's custody. Metro Corrections allegedly overruled three medical providers regarding the woman's care.

When the woman arrived at the facility, she was on a stretcher. She had come from Jewish Hospital and was unable to stand. Yellow fluid was seeping from her legs. Medical staff reportedly recommended that the woman not be booked into the jail. That recommendation was overruled by the deputy director of Metro Corrections, who claims he didn't know the severity of her condition.

A charge nurse at Metro Corrections reportedly called the jail's doctor and was refused a request to take the woman to the emergency room. The doctor reportedly told the nurse that the woman wouldn't be admitted to the hospital. The nurse noted that the level of care at the jail wasn't appropriate for the woman. Ultimately, a power failure at the jail 20 hours led to the woman being taken to University Hospital where she died.

The 33-year-old woman's family claims that doctor error contributed to the inmate's death.

While it has been longer than a year since her death, which is longer than the statute of limitations for civil action, this woman's family has opted to file a lawsuit to seek a jury trial, compensatory damages and punitive damages. They claim they didn't know about the problems with her care until the investigation report was released in January. Anyone who has lost someone due to a doctor's error might have the right to seek compensation as this woman's family chose to do.

Source: WDRB, "Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Metro Corrections, former medical provider" Jason Riley, Mar. 06, 2014

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