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It is widely recognized that poor health is commonplace within the United States correctional system. Inmates in federal penitentiaries, state prisons and county jails alike suffer from higher rates of chronic illness and infection when compared to non-incarcerated populations.
For example, data from the National Institutes of Health suggests that Hepatitis C virus infection in the United States correctional system population is as high as 28 times more prevalent than in the general public. The same is true, at varying levels, for sexually transmitted infections, HIV, HCV, hepatitis B virus infections and tuberculosis. Overall, the Bureau of Justice Statistics data suggests that roughly 21% of inmates have had an infectious disease or sexually transmitted infection while incarcerated.
The prevalence of infections in correctional institutions is especially concerning when taking into consideration that correctional facilities are required by law to engage in preventative screening and treatment of infections within their walls. Problematically, constitutionally mandated correctional health care often falls short in screening, diagnosing and treating infections, allowing the individual impacts of the infection for inmates to worsen and spread throughout the correctional facility. In extreme instances, the lack of infection evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment can lead to significant injury and even death of infected inmates, as well as the preventable infection of other inmates.
Because the failure to provide “adequate health care” constitutes a constitutional deprivation, inmates who suffer preventable injury or death from failure to diagnose or treat infections are eligible to hold correctional facilities and their healthcare providers accountable in prison medical malpractice and negligence lawsuits.
An additional byproduct of the often-inadequate healthcare provided to inmates is a troubling rate of surgical inefficiency and errors, which result in life-altering and life-threatening injuries for inmates.
Surgical errors – preventable mistakes which occur during surgical operations – are generally understood as any unexpected error which exceeds the scope of the known risks for which a patient signed a pre-operative informed consent form for.
Common surgical errors include:
Inmates who suffer serious injury or death from preventable surgical errors while incarcerated are eligible to hold correctional facilities and correctional healthcare providers liable via medical malpractice and negligence litigation.
In order to successfully bring a medical malpractice suit against a correctional facility or healthcare provider for surgical errors, claimants must demonstrate:
Because medical malpractice litigation is often extremely complex and challenging, it is always recommended to consult with an experienced prison medical malpractice attorney to determine the strength and actionability of your claims and all legal options prior to filing a lawsuit. If an inmate was not sent to a hospital, did not receive adequate emergency care, or received substandard medical care, can help fight for justice.
The dedicated team of medical malpractice trial attorneys at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC has extensive experience litigating claims against correctional facilities and their healthcare providers on behalf of incarcerated victims in all 50 states of the United States. Our lawsuits have resulted in millions of dollars in awards for victims and sent a message of accountability to all those we’ve filed suits against. If someone you know suffered serious injury or death from preventable infections and surgical errors while they were in jail or prison, Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC is here to help. Contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC at (503) 226-6361 or fill out our online intake form today for your free case evaluation.