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Medical Negligence at Jails Lead to Lawsuits

By Burg Simpson
September 18, 2012
2 min read

A Michigan family will receive $975,000 as a settlement in a medical negligence lawsuit filed against the federal government for the death of a former prison inmate.

Mary Bell sued the government after her 39-year-old son died from cancer in December 2010, a year after he was released from prison.

Timothy Bell had been serving a sentence for a drug offense at a Kentucky prison when a doctor ordered a biopsy on a lump under his right arm pit, The Associated Press reported. However, the biopsy was not done until more than a year  after it was ordered by the doctor, the article stated, and it was discovered Bell had stage 3 or stage 4 cancer.

Similar lawsuits have been filed across the nation alleging inmates suffering from cancer or other ailments are currently not receiving proper treatment.

An inmate at the Jacksonville Correctional Center in Illinois is suing a prison doctor who he alleges did not properly monitor his medical condition that led to kidney cancer, WLDS reported.  

Mentor Kadriu was sent to a hospital in October 2009 for reasons unrelated to the kidney cancer. However, tests at the hospital revealed he had lesions on his kidneys and doctors recommended he return to the hospital in three to six months because his condition could lead to cancer, the article stated. However, Kadriu was not brought back to the hospital.

Another inmate, at Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh, has filed a lawsuit in an effort to be released from the jail because he is not being properly treated for his skin disorder that causes painful rashes and bruiselike lesions, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

The inmate, Joseph McCartney, would serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest in order to receive the medical treatment doctors have prescribed, according to the lawsuit. The skin disease is treated by regular blood-letting to rid the body of excess enzymes, the Gazette article stated. McCartney should have a pint of blood removed every two to three weeks, but jail officials have failed to do so, the lawsuit alleges. He has received six treatments since April 2011, which is an average of one every 14 weeks, according to court documents, the Gazette reported.

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