Archive for Friday, October 20, 2017

Lawsuit: Kansas prison did nothing as fungus ruined inmate’s brain

October 20, 2017, 10:22 a.m. Updated October 20, 2017, 10:52 a.m.


— An inmate at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility died in April after a brain fungus gave him a form of meningitis that left him weak and so disoriented that he drank his own urine while prison health care staff ignored his pleas for help, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of his mother and daughter.

Marques Davis complained for months about symptoms at the Hutchinson prison, his attorney, Leland Dempsey, said in the lawsuit filed this week in federal court, The Kansas City Star reported .

"It feels like something is eating my brain," Davis told Corizon Health employees who staffed the prison infirmary in December 2016, according to the lawsuit.

It names as defendants Corizon, a private prison health care company contracted to provide health care at the state's prisons, as well as 14 Corizon employees, three doctors and 11 nurses.

"No amount of money in the world could ever replace my child, but somebody needs to be held accountable and this (needs to not) happen to anybody else," said Davis' mother, Shermaine Walker, of Wichita.

Corizon spokeswoman Martha Harbin said privacy laws prohibit the company from discussing details of Davis' care but "we expect any legal proceedings to reveal Mr. Davis' care was appropriate."

At the time of his death, Davis had spent eight years in prison for several crimes, including attempted murder, his mother said.

The lawsuit alleges that Corizon didn't help Davis until April 12, when he was taken to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center after he suffered a heart attack. He was declared brain dead and taken off life support the next day. An autopsy found the cause of death was advanced granulomatous meningoencephalitis, a form of meningitis that Dempsey said was caused by the Candida Albicans fungus.

Walker said she visited her son regularly at prison and tried unsuccessfully several times to get Corizon to help him.

"This was an everyday thing for me, calling over there telling them about things he's complaining to me about but also the things I'm seeing," Walker said. "He's losing weight tremendously, he's sweating, his skin color is changing."

The lawsuit alleges that Corizon staff reported several times they thought Davis was faking his illness. A Kansas Department of Corrections website lists more than 40 disciplinary infractions for Davis while he was in prison, most of them before he got sick.

An infirmary report from the week before Davis' death faults him for refusing food and failing to get out of bed to use the toilet. Instead, he urinated in his water pitcher, which he then drank out of "time and again."


MerriAnnie Smith 8 months ago

I hope prisons in Kansas are sitting up and paying attention, but I have little reason to believe they are. History doesn't support any evidence that Kansas government ever learns anything.

When you put someone in prison you do not have a right to torture them to death. Your obligation is to treat them like human beings... and hey.... that's what they are. Some of them might be more imperfect than whoever's reading my comment here, but that doesn't make you perfect. If you're imperfect in any way, then you also deserve to be tortured to death if that's what you want us to do to prisoners. Just saying...

Chloe White 8 months ago

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Bob Smith 8 months ago

Chloe is another lousy, rotten spammer. More seem to be getting through recently.

Bill Turner 8 months ago

"We expect any legal proceedings to reveal Mr. Davis' care was appropriate." Well, clearly not, since he died due to complications of a treatable illness while in your custody. 40 disciplinary infractions? Attempted murder? What is the point of including that in this article? To dehumanize him? Just because he was far from a model citizen doesn't mean he deserved to have his brain eaten while his custodians stood by and did nothing. I find this whole thing to be genuinely appalling, and it reminds me that every once in a while I actually hope I land on a jury.

Pete Kennamore 8 months ago

As with most of these types of stories there are likely three sides; his side, their side and the truth.

Bill Turner 8 months ago

And what's their side again? Yea, he died of a treatable illness while we ignored him, but we still think we were right?

Shaun McPherson 8 months ago

Dogs are treated better at the humane society than our fellow men and women are treated at the inhumane society. But that is the world we live in.

Bob Summers 8 months ago

I have yet to have a dog harm me. Rape me. Rob me. Shoot me. Knife me. Slug me. etc. etc. etc.

Why should nasty people be treated better than dogs?

William Cummings 8 months ago

Please review the US constitution, amendment # 8.

Denial of adequate medical care amounts to cruel and unusual punishment [See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976)]

Bob Summers 8 months ago

Humans under the influence of DRD4 gene polymorphism kill. Dogs do not.

Ken Lassman 8 months ago

Analytical types of personalities who abhor novelty, have no polymorphism in their DRD4 gene and are perfectly capable of murdering are fully represented in our prisons, too. How is this possible, Bob?

David Campbell 8 months ago

Good question Bob. Why should I treat you better than a dog?

MerriAnnie Smith 8 months ago

I had a friend who was mauled to death by a pit bull when she was out for a walk.

It happens.

Aaron McGrogor 8 months ago

Have you been raped, robbed, shot, stabbed, punched, etc by any human before?

MerriAnnie Smith 8 months ago

Dogs are no more worthy of humane treatment than people. It has to be decided on an individual basis, as to whether they are humane to humans or not. But it's not for the employees at the prisons to make that judgment. That's what the judicial system is for.

Bill Turner 8 months ago

I expect dogs in captivity to be adequately cared for as well. The question is, why should a human being treated worse than a dog?

David Campbell 8 months ago

Simple solution? No, simple minded thoughtlessness. Innocent people end up in jail, but even the guilty deserve adequate care. Your thinking is barbaric.

Ray Mizumura 8 months ago

It's not thinking, but whatever it is, you're right--barbaric. Sickening, disgusting, downright evil comment.

Ray Mizumura 8 months ago

Why, there are even simpler solutions, Stacy. We could go back to torturing and lynching people who commit crimes or who are assumed to have committed crimes. We could have picnics and make postcards of the punishments, just like in the good old days. Problem solved--and in an entertaining way, too.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 8 months ago

Oh another constitution hater. Amendment 8. I guess if we can do cruel and unusual punishment we can ban guns. If we are going to ignore the constitution, then we can ignore that one too? Oh, and what about Lamonte McIntyre, Floyd Bledsoe, Richard Jones, They were released after it turned out they were innocent. Should they have been allowed to die with no medical care?

Ray Mizumura 8 months ago

The usual anti-constitutional suspects would probably say so, Dorothy. After all, you know how they feel about medical care in this land of freedom--freedom, that is, to starve, or to get sick and die.

MerriAnnie Smith 8 months ago

You said it, Stacy. Your solution is a simple-minded one.

Thankfully the constitution is more complex and better fits a country like the founders hoped for.

Bill Turner 8 months ago

OR we could treat everyone as a human being, even those who have made mistakes or committed crimes. The punishment of prison is to compel repayment to society with the currency of your time, not to mame, disfigure, or kill inmates. This lack of compassion today in our society is disheartening and lamentable.

Carol Bowen 8 months ago

Contracting government functions could work if the state would contract with oversight. You cannot walk away and assume the contract will go as you thought it would. There really are no personnel savings. There are the contract employees and the government employees who must oversee the contracts. Frankly, using government employees is less hassle. There’s no way to avoid costs. We’ve tried to cheapen KPERS, KDOT, foster care, the prison system, mental health care, the education system, and more. What do we think our tax dollars are for?

Ray Mizumura 8 months ago

Carol, it's a shame that more people don't focus on comments like yours as representative of people in Kansas. I can't prove it, but I feel that there's a large number of sensible citizens in this state, maybe even a silent majority whose ideas are similar to yours. I choose to be optimistic, especially when there aren't many reasons to be that way.

Regarding your last question--well, the powers that be obviously are convinced that they pay too many taxes and they've been hugely successful at portraying themselves as victims of those who have the least power and the fewest resources. And that propaganda trickles down to be eagerly lapped up by too many of those in what's left of the middle class. And that leads to the situation described in the article, among other horrors.

Yep, one way or another, the bills are going to come due, and let's hope more people listen to and actually hear you.

William Cummings 8 months ago

Carol: the last I knew, KDOC does contract with a separate team of well qualified consultants to oversee the health care contract. The monitoring element is or at least was quite strong.

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, and to learn if the inmate actually did receive care that was consistent and similar to the care provided to persons in the community who are not incarcerated. At this point, it is too early to tell.

Richard Heckler 8 months ago

"Lawsuit: Kansas prison did nothing as fungus ruined inmate’s brain"

Conservative Privatization Politics GONE WILD = reckless use of tax dollars!!!!!!!

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