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$5,000 Award for Failure to Treat Spider Bite

An Arkansas federal jury awarded $5,000 to a prisoner in an Eighth Amendment failure to treat claim.

While in the Jackson County Jail on a warrant for failure to pay child support, Hubert Wren was bitten by a brown recluse spider. The area around the wound began to swell, causing him to seek medical attention.

The next day it was so infected that he was taken to a hospital where the wound was lanced to drain the spider poison. He was prescribed antibiotics and pain medication.

On February 28, 2009, or three days after, the wound was so infected that Wren was again taken to the hospital. He was released from there and did not return to jail. In his civil rights complaint, Wren alleged jail officials neglected his spider bite and failed to properly change the packing, causing the injury to become worse.

The federal jury returned a verdict on August 28, 2013, after a two-day trial that found for Wren. It awarded him $5,000 in compensatory damages, but rejected imposing punitive damages.

Wren was represented by Little Rock based attorney Austin Power, Jr. See: Wren v. Jackson County Sheriff, USDC, D. Arkansas, Case no. 1:12-23.

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Related legal case

Wren v. Jackson County Sheriff