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Minnesota County Settles Suit over Untreated Appendicitis for $225,000

On August 25, 2005, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota approved a $225,000 settlement to a Minnesota prisoner whose appendicitis went untreated at the Douglas County Jail.

Jeremiah Bratsch, 21, suffered stabbing pains in his lower right abdomen for four days while at the jail in July 2003. When he was finally sent to a local hospital, surgeons there were forced to remove 18 inches of intestine.

In his lawsuit, filed in May 2004, Bratsch sought $200,000 to $300,000 in damages. A trial date had been set for August 22, 2005, but the countys insurer, Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust, thought it safer to settle.
Bratsch had been imprisoned at the jail for violating a bail condition relating to his arrest for allegedly stealing guns from a shed. He served his time on the burglary charge and was released in mid-June 2005.
Frederick Goetz, Bratschs Minneapolis attorney with the law firm Goetz & Eckland, said the settlement shows that people in jail are completely helpless when it comes to medical care. . .when people are helpless like that, you have to meet the minimum standards. See: Bratsch v. Norman, USDC D MN, Case No. 04-2772 DSD/SRN.

Additional Sources: Star Tribune, Echo Press

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Related legal case

Bratsch v. Norman