A California medical facility designed to treat prisoner patients could be facing legal trouble after accusations of negligent patient injury and malpractice. The medical facility has been ordered to refrain from accepting new patients until unsafe and unsanitary conditions have been resolved. The situation is so grim that one patient supposedly died from negligent patient injury.
An investigation into the California prison facility was initiated last year. What inspectors found were inmates using broken wheelchairs, improperly fitting catheters and instances of inmates lying in human filth for extended amounts of time. Lack of cleanliness led to a facility-wide outbreak of scabies. Insiders say that the issues stem from a problem with too many inmates and too few medical care workers. As a result, inmates are often required to assist one another, even though most of them are ill or even incapacitated themselves.
Per the Eighth Amendment, even prisoners have the right to expect adequate medical care while behind bars. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the prison hospital has denied inmates of that right and it could be considered cruel and unusual punishment. It is not clear if the facility or managers are facing any criminal charges, but it is feasible that prisoners or their families could consider legal action for the lack of quality medical care.
When a person does not receive quality or adequate medical care at a treatment facility, they could consider legal action if they have suffered from negligent patient injury. This also applies to those who are receiving medical care in the prison system. When pursuing financial compensation for these reasons, it is important to present documentation and proof to back up purported claims.
Source: care2.com, California Prisoners Denied Showers and Forced to Lie in Their Own Feces, Carimah Townes, Feb. 6, 2014