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$3,200 Awarded to Indiana Jail Prisoner for Negligent Medical Care

On December 2, 2008, a federal jury awarded Richard Petrig, a former prisoner, $3,200 for negligent medical care.

Petrig was attacked by his cellmate while incarcerated at the Posey County Jail in Indiana. After the attack, Petrig told jail officials that he needed help. He was seen by a nurse who gave him ice and Tylenol. The pain continued, and Petrig continued to request medical care. He was given more ice and Tylenol.

Some twenty-seven hours after the attack, Petrig was finally taken to a hospital where he was diagnosed as having a lac-erated spleen. Emergency surgery was performed and his condition improved.

Petrig sued jail officials alleging negligence and Eighth Amendment violations. He argued that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs and had acted negligently in failing to timely treat his condition. He also cited evidence of a custom of indifference at the jail. The defendants contended they were responsive to Petrig’s medical com-plaints, and denied the existence of a custom of indifference.

The jury found for Petrig on his negligence claims and awarded him $3,200, but concluded the defendants did not vio-late the Eighth Amendment. On January 8, 2009, the district court taxed costs against the defendants in the amount of $1,574.64. Petrig was represented by William D. Nesmith of Dunlap & Nesmith LLP, an Evansville, Indiana law firm. See: Petrig v. Folz, U.S.D.C. (S.D. Ind.), Case No. 3:07-cv-00080-WGH-RLY.

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Related legal case

Petrig v. Folz