by Matt Clarke
A former Wisconsin jail prisoner settled his medical neglect lawsuit for $15,000.
After Brian Shebelske had been incarcerated at the Marathon County Jail for twenty months, he had to be transported to the hospital emergency room and receive multiple blood transfusions. He had developed severe pernicious anemia due to a extreme lack of vitamin B12 during his stay at the jail. The life-threatening bout with pernicious anemia left him with permanent nerve injuries, including neuropathy, persistent pain and tingling.
Prior to his emergency room trip, Shebelske had repeatedly sought medical treatment for a racing heart, shortness of breath and other symptoms.
"They just didn't hear me," he said. "I was so lethargic."
He spent over three years in the jail, which he described as a place of "No sunlight. Rotten food. Terrible attitudes." He filed a complaint against the jail staff and health care providers in 2015. It was settled for $15,000 in late 2016.
Shebelske, who pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child, maintains his innocence. He blames the guilty plea on a confused mental state brought on by a vitamin B12 deficiency. Even though he has completely served the incarceration portion of his eight-year sentence, he is seeking to have his conviction overturned.
According to attorney Andrew Erlandson, who represents Shebelske, Neurologist Dr. Thomas Berentsen reviewed Shebelske's medical records and concluded that the vitamin B12 deficiency would have left him "cognitively impaired" at the time he pleaded guilty.
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