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Deadly Doctor at Wichita Falls Jail

Jun 29th, 2011 | Category: Jailhouse Stories, Wichita County

Via Time Record News
By Kenneth Fibbe, 6/25/11
The widow of a man who died in the Wichita County Jail called the jail’s treatment of her husband “cruel and unusual” and is suing Wichita County, Wichita County Sheriff David Duke and jail-contracted physician Dr. Daniel Bolin for not giving her husband the medical attention she claims he needed.

Barbara Cameron has sued in federal court on behalf of the estate of her husband, John, who died in his cell.

The suit claims Cameron was arrested on June 10, 2009, on a misdemeanor charge and jailed shortly after. He began to exhibit “bizarre, combative behavior, including threats of suicide.”

It claims instead of getting him medical attention, jail officials “restrained him, placed him on suicide watch and kept him silent in solitary confinement without any clothing, mattress or blanket for several days.”

Duke, the suit alleges, was made aware of Cameron’s behavior and not only approved the treatment but also did nothing to get Cameron appropriate medical attention.

During his confinement, Cameron refused to eat or drink, and jail staff did not inform medical staff of the behavior, the suit claims.

It said Cameron was later found “unresponsive” and lying naked on his cell floor, and later pronounced dead at the hospital from what a medical examiner determined was heart disease and dehydration. The examiner also said his body was “devoid of food particles,” the suit alleges.

He went in weighing 150 pounds and lost 24 pounds during his 13 days there, the suit claims.

It alleges Duke and Bolin administered “cruel and unusual punishment” by denying him reasonable access to necessary medical attention. That resulted in him suffering “excruciating” and “unnecessary” mental pain and physical suffering, which exacerbated his medical condition and resulted in his death, it claims.

It also alleges that for many years the jail had routinely failed to ensure inmates were properly evaluated and treated for their mental health or medical conditions, which it claims has been documented in past media reports, jail records and various other medical-related lawsuits brought against the jail.

Although the county, Duke and Bolin were aware of the findings of these previous suits, the same inept medical procedures and related problems persisted, it claims.

It also claims the county and Duke entered into a contract with Bolin to save money.

Bolin’s “cost-saving” and “low price” contract, the suit claims, specifically instructed him to try to minimize transport of people in custody who suffer from serious medical conditions unless or until a patient’s condition was near-death.

It alleges Bolin was paid $235,000 a year from 1998 until beyond Cameron’s death, despite increases in costs of medical care as well as the number of inmates at the jail, and the amount of money paid for medical services was “unreasonable” and “unconstitutional.”

The suit claims previous Wichita County Sheriff Thomas Callahan and Bolin have been sued several times because of inmates who had been placed in solitary confinement and denied access to medical care.

It claims Bolin was frequently absent from jail, which resulted in nurses and jail staff with no mental health or medical training routinely making medical judgments about the severity of illnesses, guessing at proper care to give and prescribing and issuing medications that may not have been appropriate for their particular conditions.

Bolin’s policy, the suit alleges, was to discourage and refuse transport of seriously ill inmates for medical consultation or to hospitals, and that Bolin intimidated jail and nursing staff into not contacting him when medical situations arose.

It also claims solitary confinement was used to “isolate and discourage” people with serious medical conditions from receiving care, and that Duke failed to supervise and end the intimidation.

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