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California Prisoner Awarded $500 for Spread of Cancer Due to Medical Indifference

by Christopher Zoukis

Armster Hampton, whose cancer potentially spread because prison medical staff failed to initiate any testing or treatment, was awarded $500 in damages by a federal jury.

     In 1999 and 2003, while imprisoned in the California penal system, medical examinations revealed that Hampton had an enlarged thyroid gland. After filing several treatment requests at different prisons, Hampton was given in July 2005 a thyroidectomy after numerous delays. In September, he was transferred to Folsom State Prison, where he repeatedly sought information and treatment options from Dr. I. Cardeno. Cardeno allegedly refused to order any tests or treatments, and Hampton's cancer potentially spread because of these unnecessary delays.

     On May 3, 2006, Hampton filed a pro se complaint in federal court against Doctors Cardeno, P. Sahota and A. Dazo, several medical staff members and the California penal system. He alleged that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated through deliberate indifference to his medical needs. He sought an injunction, ordering prison medical staff to provide him with proper care, along with nominal damages and legal costs.

     On March 13, 2012, the jury found Cardeno was deliberately indifferent to Hampton's serious medical needs when he failed to place Hampton on a low-iodine diet prior to typical thyroid testing and therapy, resulting in risk of significant injury. The jury awarded Hampton $500.

See: Hampton v. Sahota , et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, 2:06-cv-00966-JAM-KJN (Mar. 13, 2012)

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Related legal case

Hampton v. Sahota , et al.