Pittsburgh Jail Sued For Allowing Autistic Man To Die
While no inmate expects to experience luxury during their time behind bars, jails must still exercise a certain duty of care and prevent their inmates from harm. If jails allow these inmates to die from hazards that could have been prevented, they may face serious consequences. At the end of the day, this is a human rights issue that must be addressed, and negligent jails may face wrongful death lawsuits as a result of preventable inmate fatalities. This was made clear after a lawsuit was recently filed in Pennsylvania.
Inmate Allegedly Died from Preventable Foot Wound
On October 17th of 2023, it was reported that the family of a 57-year-old man had filed a lawsuit against the Allegheny County Jail – claiming that the death of their loved one was preventable. This inmate, who was autistic, died just 11 days after arriving at the facility. His family points out that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, he should have been placed in a medical unit due to his autism and developmental disabilities.
To support this claim, the family points to at least 17 other instances where inmates apparently died due to medical staffing shortages – and these inmates allegedly had mental or physical health issues prior to their passing. The attorney representing the family wrote:
“This lawsuit is intended not only to find full and fair justice for Anthony, but it is also intended to find justice for the individuals who came before him and took their last breaths at the Allegheny County Jail as well and to protect those who enter that jail after them.”
In particular, the jail’s hiring practices are being called into question. Apparently, they hired the physician who treated the plaintiff without properly screening him – and the family seems to be claiming that there was some kind of issue with his medical license.
The physician in question denies any wrongdoing, pointing out that he has never been accused of medical malpractice – and that his medical license is valid. However, the family has highlighted several “disciplinary proceedings” made against him in the past – including one that apparently questioned his safety, skills, and competence. The injury that apparently claimed the plaintiff’s life included fractures, torn ligaments, and blistering due to burns. It’s not clear how these injuries occurred, but the jail apparently took away his foot cast and crutches after he was treated at a hospital – allegedly because these items were not permitted in the facility due to security concerns.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Pennsylvania?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Scranton personal injury attorney, look no further than the Needle Law Firm. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured plaintiffs pursue justice, closure, and compensation. If you were injured at a jail and you believe that negligence was involved, feel free to book a consultation. During this consultation, we can discuss the most appropriate course of action.