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$450,000 Settlement in Prisoner’s Heroin Withdrawal Death Suit

In May, 2003, Prison Health Services (PHS) agreed to pay the family of Candace “Candy” Brown $450,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging inadequate medical care that resulted in Brown’s death.

Brown was arrested in 2000 and taken to New York’s Monroe County Jail. Shortly thereafter, she suffered from heroin withdrawal and died of aspiration pneumonia. Her death sparked a legislative investigation of PHS.

“The medical evaluation and treatment afforded Ms. Brown was grossly and flagrantly inadequate,” the State Commission on Correction determined. “Had adequate medical evaluation and treatment been afforded, her death would have been prevented.”

As usual, the settlement agreement prohibits both sides from commenting about the lawsuit and PHS did not admit negligence. This is standard fare for PHS and private prison companies when settling lawsuits. See: Hollins v. Meloni, U.S.D.C. (W.D. NY), Case No. 6:02-CV-06019-JWF.

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Related legal case

Hollins v. Meloni