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

$400,000 Award against PHS in Pennsylvania Prisoner's Medical Negligence Suit

On February 17, 2012, a Pennsylvania jury awarded a former prisoner 8400,000 in a suit over medical negligence resulting in serious injury to him.

Derrick Jones was a Pennsylvania state prisoner incarcerated at SCI Albion on March 12, 2006, when he fell in his cell and was seriously injured. Five days later, he was finally x-rayed. The x-rays showed that he had suffered severe fractures in his leg and ankle.

Jones was taken to a local hospital where a long cast was placed on his leg and he was scheduled for surgery three days later. He was returned to prison and housed in the infirmary, but one day later he was moved from the infirmary to general population and, despite the cast and crutches he was forced to use, housed en the top floor of the prison facility which was only accessible by walking up an iron staircase.

The day after his transfer to general population, Jones fell en the iron staircase while trying to cot to the infirmary for follow up medical care. His fall down fifteen stairs further injured him. Thereafter, medical authorities restricted his housing to the ground level, something they could have done prior to his receiving the additional injuries.

Jones 'as subsequently incarcerated at SCI-Gatersford and various Philadelphia-area jails. Prison Health Services was the contracted health care provider at all of the locations where he was incarcerated.

During these incarcerations, he did not receive MRIs recommended by hospital personnel and there was no follow up on SCI-Gratersford medical personnel's notation that a lower spinal injury should be considered. After he was released, he paid for an MRI himself and it was discovered that he had herniated lumbar discs compressing the nerve root at two levels of his lumbar spine, a lateral meniscus tear and posterior cruciate ligament tears likely requiring total knew replacement.

With the assistance of Philadelphia attorney George Twardy, Jr., Jones filed a suit in state court against Prison Health Services. The jury found Jones to be 22% causally negligent and PHS to be 78% causally negligent for the injuries. They awarded Jones $26,354.75 for past medical expenses, $112,500.00 for future medical expenses, $10,000.00 for past loss of earnings, 8200,000.00 for future loss of earnings and $51,145.35 for future non-economic losses (e.g. pain and suffering) for a total of $400,000 before any reduction for contributory negligence. See: Jones v. Prison Health Services, Court of Common Pleas, Erie County, PA, No. 15262-08.

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

Jones v. Prison Health Services