Private contractor deliberately ignored medical needs of Kentucky inmate: lawsuit

In a lawsuit filed on February 24th, the mother of Brandon Clint Hacker claims that a “continuing policy, pattern, custom and/or practice of … willfully and deliberately ignoring the medical needs of inmates of the Jail” contributed to the death of her 35-year-old son at Kentucky’s Madison County Detention Center (MCDC).

Charlotte Diana Winkler is suing private inmate medical contractor Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc. (ACH) and their employees: Dr. Nadir H. Al-Shami, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Layla Troutman and Licensed Practical Nurse Arlene Johnson. She is also suing Madison County, Jailer Doug Thomas, Capt. Tom Jones, Capt. Cory Dunning, Deputy J. J. LaGrange, Capt. Keith Trickler, and Deputy Whitney Bratcher.

ACH is in the midst of a $222,000 contract to provide healthcare at MCDC. According to their website, the Illinois-based contractor oversees inmate medical care in 17 states and works with “adults, juveniles, and Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees on behalf of jails, juvenile detention centers, work release centers, methadone clinics, and more.”

Hacker started to feel sick at MCDC a few days after he was arrested for failing to appear at child support hearings, the complaint states. He filled out a medical request form, writing “Very sick, stomach, meds.” Records indicate that one of ACH’s nurses who visited Hacker, LPN Johnson, described him as “sick, shaky, chills, upset stomach.” He had high blood pressure and “active tremors, body aches, sweating.” Johnson noted that day that his symptoms were consistent with “Possible W/D [withdrawal] from heroin.”

For the next two days, the lawsuit says, Hacker went without medical attention because no healthcare workers were stationed at the facility over the weekend. “Mr. Hacker and his cellmates repeatedly requested that he be seen by a doctor or taken to a hospital, to no avail,” it states. By Sunday, Hacker’s pain had become unbearable. He filled out another medical request form, writing: “Blood Pressure. Need to see A.S.A.P. Having trouble breathing. Stomach problems.” Continue reading