Despite having dozens of medical malpractice claims filed against him for alleged substandard medical care provided in jails throughout the Midwest of the United States, an Illinois doctor and his company that have contracts to provide medical care in many correctional facilities, including those operated by sheriffs in Illinois who have accepted campaign contributions from the doctor’s company, continue to practice medicine.
The most recent medical malpractice claim settled by the doctor in Illinois occurred on November 28, 2011, when a payment was made in the amount of $737,500, arising out of a medical malpractice claim involving an inmate who allegedly died as a result of a perforated ulcer that went untreated in 2007.
Six months before the 2007 inmate’s death, another inmate at another jail had to have his leg amputated below the knee because he did not receive the proper medical treatment after suffering a fractured ankle and a head injury. The inmate’s medical malpractice claim resulted in a settlement payment in the amount of $339,880. As of December, 2011, the doctor was still providing medical care to inmates in the same jail.
In a report to Indiana officials in 2010, the doctor stated that he had settled a medical malpractice case brought by an inmate in Oklahoma in 2009, who alleged that he did not receive his prescribed medications or proper medical treatment after being injured by another inmate. The doctor settled that claim for $17,500.
In 2009, the doctor was fined $10,000 in Michigan for allegedly withholding prescribed psychotropic medications from mentally ill patients without examining the patients, without reviewing their charts, and without advising the prescribing physicians. Despite the doctor’s failure to disclose the Michigan fine to the Indiana Medical Licensing Board, the Board voted 3 to 2 to renew the doctor’s Indiana medical license (the doctor claimed that a member of his staff filled out the medical license renewal form incorrectly).
Other filed medical malpractice claims filed against the doctor and his company allege that they failed to provide prescribed medications to inmates in Illinois and in other states, both before and after the Michigan fine. The doctor and his company settled a medical malpractice claim in Indiana regarding an inmate who was not given his prescribed Xanax while incarcerated in 2009, resulting in the inmate suffering seizures that allegedly led to his death. The doctor and his company were named defendants in a federal medical malpractice case filed in Illinois that alleges that an epileptic inmate died in jail in 2010 because he was not given his prescribed anti-seizure medication.
The doctor’s company had received more than $96.5 million from Illinois to provide health care since 2007. In late 2011, the contract with the doctor’s company for four prisons was awarded to another company.
No mater what crimes inmates may have committed or how long their criminal sentences may be, they are entitled to adequate and timely medical care. Society is often judged by the way that it treats its most vulnerable members– prison inmates have no choice or say in the medical care they receive and thus are vulnerable to the medical care that they are provided by the medical contractors hired by the states. If they are not provided the proper medical care at their correctional facility, inmates have no choice to seek proper medical care from somewhere else.
When the medical negligence of a doctor or another medical provider causes serious injuries or death, the legal advice of a medical malpractice attorney is essential to protecting your rights. Visit our website or call us toll free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be able to investigate your medical malpractice claim and file a medical malpractice case on your behalf, if appropriate.
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