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Lawsuit Filed Against Two County Jails Over an Inmate’s Death

Posted Jul 28 2010 12:00am

A lawsuit has been filed against two Kansas jails over the death of an inmate that allegedly could have been prevented. Terry A. Bruner was arrested for DUI in November 2007 and sent to Sedgwick County Jail, but was transferred to the Stanton County Jail due to overcrowding. The lawsuit alleges he spent the next four of five days being bounced between the jails even though he was seriously ill with streptococcal meningitis. By the time jail officials took him to the hospital, it was too late. The lawsuit claims that streptococcal meningitis is a “very treatable” condition. The family is seeking $10 million in damages. 

The case seeks $10 million from the two county jails. I would have thought that bouncing the inmate from one facility to another would have subjected him to MORE evaluation rather than less.  When a patient is transferred between facilities, they are closely examined and their current condition is documented.  The accepting facility then provides their own assessment and compares with that when they left to make sure there were no adverse changes during transport.

I am not an expert on corrections nursing, but it would seem like after days of “languishing” in his cell, this prisoner would have gotten some kind of medical evaluation.  It appears that the officials at the prison took his word for it when he diagnosed himself as  “just having the flu”, when in fact he had streptococcal meningitis.

Because this case was prison based, if I were asked to provide legal nurse consulting I would most likely defer the project to my friend who is a corrections nurse. (She is also a writer for Correctional Heathcare on CorrectionsOne).

For any of my readers who have an interest in this area of specialty, or need an expert witness or nurse consultant in cases involving the corrections industry, check out Lorry Schoenly.

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