Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Negligent Federal Prisoner's Medical Care Leads To Permanent Hearing Loss

Florida federal prisoner Walter Hernandez, Jr., brought a federal tort action against the Bureau of Prisons in 1998 after medical personnel were negligent in diagnosing and treating his ear infections. Permanent hearing loss resulted. The $5 million suit settled for an undisclosed amount in 1999 and the records were sealed.

Hernandez was incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) at Miami in 1995 when he complained of ear pain. He had a prior history of repaired cleft palate and ear canal reconstruction. He was seen numerous times and an specialist was recommended in January of 1996. Hernandez was transferred to FCI Marianna and was seen for chronic ear infections. The specialist’s recommendation was ignored for some time and only two cultures were taken from July of 1995 until May of 1996. In June of 1996 the specialist found "retraction pockets with cholesteatoma debris with an infected polyp in the right ear" and an "audiogram showed a bi lateral conductive hearing loss." Revision mastoid surgery was recommended but ignored. After hospitalization in February of 1997 for intravenous antibiotic therapy for severe infection, a series of surgical mastoidectomies were performed through June of 1998. Hernandez brought the action under the Federal Tort Claims Act for medical negligence resulting in permanent hearing loss and other damages, requesting $5 million and litigation costs.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida approved a settlement for an undisclosed amount in 1999, ordering confidentiality. See: Hernandez v. United States, USDC, S.D. Fla., Case No. 98 cv 1822 Gold (Dec. 12, 1999).

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Hernandez v. United States

No other information is currently available.