A California prison inmate filed a state lawsuit against a California prison on August 25, 2016, alleging that the prison doctor intentionally prescribed anti-fungal toenail medication for use in his eyes to treat inflammation, knowing that the medication was inappropriate and could cause harm, which nearly blinded him. He further alleges that he was threatened with punishment if he continued to complain of severe burning and pain in his eyes.
The prison medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that on August 8, 2015, the prison doctor prescribed clotrimazole for inflammation in his eyes. Clotrimazole is used to treat yeast infections of the vagina, mouth, and skin such as athlete’s foot, jock itch, and body ringworm, and can also be used to prevent oral thrush in certain patients. Clotrimazole comes as a cream, lotion, powder, or solution to apply to the skin; lozenges (called troches) to dissolve in the mouth; and, vaginal tablets and vaginal cream to be inserted into the vagina.
The prison nurse gave the prison inmate the clotrimazole that had been prescribed by the prison doctor four days earlier and instructed the prison inmate to apply it to his eyes. Immediately upon placing the medication in his eyes, he felt an intense burning sensation yet the prison nurse did not express surprise that he had experienced burning when the medication was used in his eyes. The prison inmate alleges in his California prison medical malpractice lawsuit that the prison nurse knew at the time she instructed him to use the medication in his eyes that it was improper to place clotrimazole in his eyes.
Another prison nurse allegedly applied more of the clotrimazole in the inmate’s eyes later the same day, with the same result of intense burning, and a third prison nurse gave the inmate a bottle of clotrimazole to use for a third dose the following day. The inmate claims that he asked the third nurse what was in the bottle of medication that she provided to him, and that the third nurse replied that it was anti-fungal toenail medication. Despite the intense pain in his eyes, he was given only aspirin and told to stop seeking medical attention or else he would be subject to prison discipline, according to the inmate’s California prison medical malpractice lawsuit.
The inmate requested that he be seen by an eye specialist. It was not until August 15, 2015, that he was brought to the prison infirmary. He was not seen by a physician outside of the prison until September 9, 2015, when he was told that he needed eye surgery.
The inmate did not have surgery until December 7, 2015, at which time he was nearly blind in one eye, according to the California prison medical malpractice lawsuit.
The inmate claims that he has suffered permanently blurred vision and intense pain as a result of the prison’s malfeasance. He seeks damages, including punitive damages, for civil rights violations, medical malpractice, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and alleges negligent training, negligent supervision, and civil conspiracy.
If you or a loved one were injured due to medical negligence or the lack of appropriate medical care while incarcerated in a prison, jail, or other correctional facility in California or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a local medical malpractice lawyer in your state who handles prisoner/inmate medical malpractice claims and may investigate your claim and represent you, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to be connected with prison medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may assist you.
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