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Denial of AIDS Medication, Food to Texas Jail Prisoner Upheld

The plaintiff, prescribed AZT and Crixivan, got no Crixivan for five days and then half-doses for the next 15 days. When he saw a doctor after 19 days, his dosage was promptly increased. He was not able to get a high-protein, high-calorie diet. His viral load, formerly undetectable, increased to a measurable level by the time he left the jail, though it had decreased by the time of the hearing. The plaintiff was kept in a "side cell" like other inmates with communicable diseases and then placed in lockdown.

The ADA and Rehabilitation Act do not apply to prisons and jails. (Wrong.)
The failure to provide the plaintiff with medication, and to do it in the right amounts, was merely negligent.

Suit against the University of Texas Health Center, the medical care provider, was barred by the Eleventh Amendment.

The failure to see a doctor for 19 days or to see the head doctor for 56 days is not proof of deliberate indifference since the plaintiff saw nurses and went to the clinic numerous times.

The plaintiff's segregation was not unconstitutional; classification of inmates is typically relegated to the broad discretion of prison officials. No abuse of discretion was shown.

The failure to provide a better diet was not unconstitutional; when he finally saw the chief doctor, the doctor ordered that he get double portions of food. It took a week for this order to get to the kitchen, and the plaintiff was released a week later.

The case is dismissed as frivolous and for failure to state a claim after an evidentiary hearing. See: Callaway v. Smith County, 991 F.Supp. 801 (E.D.Tex. 1998).

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Related legal case

Callaway v. Smith County