by Ed Lyon
On February 28, 2022, Judge Patrick E. Sheeran of the Ohio Court of Claims approved a settlement under which the state Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) agreed to pay a prisoner $32,500 to resolve his claims that prison medical staff ignored post-surgery instruction and removed his catheter, tearing his urethra and sending him for emergency surgery to repair it.
In May 2020, state prisoner Charles Greene was at DRC’s Franklin Medical Center (FMC), recovering from prostate cancer surgery at Ohio State University Medical Center. The surgery had necessitated severing and suturing his urethra, so he was fitted with a catheter to aid the healing, with orders that it not be removed.
Yet two DRC employees allegedly removed it anyway. That tore Greene’s urethra, which then leaked urine into his abdomen. After another surgery to repair the damage, he returned to FMC. There he waited until July 2020 for surgery to remove the catheter before he was returned to Noble Correctional Institution.
With the aid of attorney Christopher R. Walsh of Earl, Warburton & Adams in Columbus, Greene filed suit seeking $25,000 in damages for the DOC employees’ negligence, plus attorney’s fees and costs.
DRC argued that its employees didn’t know about the instructions not to remove the catheter. But Walsh obtained an affidavit from a urology expert, Bradley Buck, M.D., who opined that the FMC employees violated the standard of care owed their patient. Prematurely removing the catheter against the surgeon’s orders, he said, “likely hampered urethral healing and worsened the anastomotic leak.”
The parties then proceeded to reach their settlement agreement, which included costs and fees for Greene’s attorney. See: Greene v. Ohio Dep’t of Rehab. and Corr., Ohio Ct. of Claims, Case No. 2021-00276.
Greene, now 60, is serving a sentence for the 2008 murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping of 81-year-old Alice Self. Based on very little evidence, a jury convicted the homeless handyman in 2017 of killing the landlady he sometimes worked for, by stuffing her head-first down a wishing well in the backyard of a vacant rental property she owned. Blood found inside her abandoned car provided a DNA match to Greene, and a phone number for him written in her receipt book matched the last number called on her cellphone before she died.
Additional source: Oxygen
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