Medical neglect may be connected to inmate deaths

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

When an individual is incarcerated they expect a certain lifestyle change. It goes without saying that inmates of correctional facilities must adapt to living with certain restrictions and without certain comforts. However, knowing you will receive adequate and timely medical attention if the need arises is one such comfort no one should have to live without. For two New York families, the loss of their loved ones makes them question just what kind of medical attention, or lack of, is being paid to inmates.

The families of two Nassau County Correctional Facility inmates are both questioning if proper medical attention was provided to their loved ones. Both inmates died after life-threatening conditions were left untreated for extended periods of time. One inmate was complaining of chest pains and had a documented heart condition on record but was still denied an EKG; he was later found unresponsive in his cell. Found in cardiac arrest, the inmate was transported to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The other inmate was found dead in his cell eight hours after he requested medical attention for a condition that caused his neck to swell.

According to court documents, dozens of complaints have been filed against the jail’s medical provider in the last five years. Aside from these two incidents, state regulators found the medical provider to be grossly negligent while reviewing a 2012 inmate death. Despite these deaths and numerous complaints, Nassau County Correctional Facility has decided to stay with the medical provider, which may get the attention of other inmate’s families.

While there are no charges currently against the medical provider, the victim’s families are working with attorneys to bring forward wrongful death charges. If you have lost a loved one or suffered injury due to hospital or staff negligence it may be beneficial to speak to a skilled medical malpractice attorney.

Source:, “I-Team Exclusive: Nassau Jail Insiders Blame Deaths on Medical Neglect,” Ann Givens, Chris Glorioso, Evan Stulberger and Jennifer Marshall, Sep. 8, 2015

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