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$1.44 Million for Medical Indifference

On April 5, 1996, a Denver, Colorado district court jury awarded former prisoner Arthur Nieto $1.44 million in damages against Colorado state prison officials for showing deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. According to the evidence proved at trial, Nieto was imprisoned at the Delta Correctional Facility in 1991 when he developed a cold and sinusitis. The head cold developed into a sinus infection and the infection then spread to Nieto's brain. The prison medical staff ignored Nieto's worsening medical condition despite obvious symptoms, until he was taken to a hospital with a 105 degree temperature and "his eye had bulged out of the socket and was discharging green pus," according to his attorney Robert Ozer.

Despite several surgeries and hospitalizations Nieto suffered permanent brain damage that caused his left side to be paralyzed and he has "major cognitive deficiencies." The six member jury awarded Nieto $1.8 million but reduced the award because Nieto had failed to take medication. Ozer noted "he was too disoriented to do that." Nieto was paroled in 1993.

Source: Denver Post

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Related legal case

Nieto v. State