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$790,000 Settlement In Ulcer Death of Georgia Jail Prisoner

In November 2005, Dekalb County, Georgia, a private medical provider, and a local hospital agreed to pay a combined total of $790,000 to settle with the widow of a prisoner who died from a perforated ulcer.

While imprisoned in the Dekalb County Jail, the decedent, 64, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital after he complained of stomach pains. After undergoing a CT scan, he was released with instructions to return in one week. But jail officials failed to return him to the hospital. He died one day after his scheduled follow up.

The decedents estranged wife, Gloria Daniels, sued the County, Grady Memorial, and the now defunct Correctional Healthcare Solutions (CHS), which provided medical care at the jail. The suit, brought in state court, alleged that her husbands ulcer bled through and perforated his stomach, resulting in his death.

Daniels further contended in her lawsuit that jailers and a CHS nurse failed to obtain appropriate medical help the night her husband died even though he was vomiting blood. She also claimed that CHS personnel were negligent in failing to return her husband to the hospital for his follow up and that the County failed to provide adequate funding to maintain appropriate medical staffing levels.

Daniels additionally argued that hospital personnel neglected to perform an abdominal exam on her husband and that the radiologist overlooked evidence in the CT scan of free air in the stomach--an indication the stomach was perforated and required immediate medical attention.

The $790,000 settlement was reached after extended mediation. CHS agreed to pay $400,000, the hospital $325,000, and Dekalb County $65,000. Daniels insisted the settlement not be confidential. She was represented by Craig T. Jones, Roderick E. Edmond, and Hezekiah Sistrunk Jr., all of Atlanta. See: Daniels v. Correctional Healthcare Solutions, Fulton County Court, Case No. 03CSO46785F.

Source: The Georgia Trial Reporter

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Related legal case

Daniels v. Correctional Healthcare Solutions