Stephen M. O'Brien III, PLLC - Personal Injury Attorneys
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Failure to diagnose meningitis for over a week leads to death

Getting a proper diagnosis for illnesses can sometimes be challenging. When the person who is suffering from the illness is a prisoner, getting a proper diagnosis can sometimes be almost impossible. Kentucky residents might like to learn about a lawsuit recently filed in another state that alleges medical malpractice and negligence on the part of a prison medical staff.

The horrible chain of events started on June 28, 2012, when a prisoner who was serving a sentence for a probation violation complained to prison nurses that he had a headache. He also said that he was vomiting and exhibiting other symptoms. The man had an allergy to Tylenol, so the nurse suggested he drink ice water for his symptoms.

The following day, the man returned to the nurse complaining of pressure behind his eyes. He was scheduled to see an eye doctor on July 3 and given an allergy medication.

On July 6, the man ended up in the prison infirmary. It was discovered that he had a temperature of 101.6 degrees F. The next day, the man couldn’t stand without staff members helping him. He was finally taken to the hospital more than a week after his initial complaints.

At the hospital, it was determined that he had bacterial meningitis. He was running a 103-degree fever. He was taken to another hospital where he had emergency surgery to treat an abscess of infection on his brain.

Sadly, this man died on July 13 from the condition. Several medical experts have asserted that the prison staff didn’t act in an appropriate manner. His family has opted to file a lawsuit based on him receiving delayed treatment because of the failure to diagnose the meningitis.

All medical professional, regardless of the environment in which they work, are held to certain professional standards of treating patients. When those standards are deviated from, serious injuries can occur. Anyone who is harmed because of medical staff negligence has the right to seek compensation for those injuries.

Source:, “Family sues state over inmate’s meningitis death,” June 24, 2014

O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC is located in Lexington, KY and serves clients in and around Lexington, Keene, Nicholasville, Versailles, Midway, Georgetown, Wilmore, Paris, Bourbon County, Fayette County, Jessamine County, Scott County and Woodford County.

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