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$600,000 Settlement In Death Of Unmedicated Wisconsin Prisoner

A lawsuit over the death of a mentally ill epileptic Wisconsin prisoner has settled for $600,000.

Kelvin Brooks, an epileptic state prisoner with a long history of mental illness was imprisoned at Wisconsin's Green Bay Correctional Facility. For unknown reasons Brooks was isolated in the prison's segregation unit and apparently placed on a restricted food loaf" diet. The food loaf supposedly caused Brooks to vomit, which in turn made it impossible for him to keep down his anti-seizure medication.

Prison surveillance tapes painted a disturbing picture of Brooks' last day. The videotapes reportedly revealed that Brooks, who was kept naked in the cell, suffered at least three full-blown epileptic seizures on July l2, 200l, and that prisoners in other cells hit their emergency buttons and screamed for help--to no avail. One guard apparently stated that Brooks was faking the seizures in order to get his clothes back. By the time medical responded, Brooks' body was already stiff from rigor mortis.
After his death, a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 lawsuit was brought on Brooks' behalf against the State claiming, apparently, an Eighth Amendment violation for failure to properly train guards in handling prisoner medical problems. Plaintiff's expert, Dr. Robert Cohen, former medical director for the Rikers Island Correctional Facility' in New York City, reportedly said that Brooks' death could have been avoided with even minimal training. The case settled for $600,000; the settlement was published on November 1, 2004.

Plaintiff's attorney was Willie Nunnery of Nunnery Law Offices in Madison, Wisconsin. See: Brooks v. Bertrand, Court unknown, Case No. OIC 1017 .

Source: Wisconsin Jury Verdicts

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Related legal case

Brooks v. Bertrand