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Inmate suffers permanent damage after doctor ignores him

Everyone is entitled to adequate medical care, regardless of their situation. But what happens when the doctors you rely on to safeguard your well-being don't take you seriously? A missed diagnosis can lead to a highly exacerbated condition, permanent damage or even death. Sadly, many patients in Maryland and throughout the United States find themselves suffering needless harm at the hands of negligent, careless or poorly trained doctors.

In Minnesota, this sad circumstance befell a prison inmate after he developed neck pain one evening in February 2012. Soon after the pain began, he lost the ability to move some parts of his body and even lost sensation. However, a nurse employed by the Minnesota Department of Corrections simply gave him ibuprofen and noted in her shift report that he was a faker. She did not seek a second opinion from an on-call doctor.

After she had left, the inmate fell from his bed and could do nothing but yell for assistance. It was over an hour before anyone responded and even then it was assumed that he was playing around. An on-call doctor ruled that he should be moved to his bed, but he was given no further medical attention until morning. When he fell again in the night, he was simply left on the floor until morning.

A different doctor arrived in the morning, sending for an ambulance to take the inmate to the emergency room. He was diagnosed with an epidural hematoma and a neurological disorder brought on by the damage. The inmate has yet to regain sensation on one side of his body and has been told the damage is permanent. What's more, he has been told the delay in his treatment was the cause.

He has since been offered a $130,000 settlement from the DOC and is pursuing a claim against the doctor and medical facility deemed responsible for his treatment. Although it happened in another state, patients in Maryland can surely sympathize. Negligent doctors must be challenged so they cannot harm anyone else. If you have been poorly treated by your doctor, an attorney may be able to help. He or she can assist you in determining whether you have a case, and help you pursue the settlement you deserve.

Source: Twin Cities, "Stillwater inmate settles negligence suit with state over injury," Elizabeth Mohr, July 4, 2014

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Michael H. Bereston, Inc.
138 Main Street, Suite 200
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