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Inmate Broken Foot and Hernia Lawsuit

Wilson v. Wexford Health Sources

Hiatal HerniaThis medical malpractice claim was filed in Washington County after an inmate suffered an improperly healed foot and an unresolved hernia due to inadequate medical care. It was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on March 22, 2018, and it is the 138th medical malpractice case filed in Maryland this year.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

Shortly before he was incarcerated, a man fell through a twelve-foot ceiling and fractured his left heel. After undergoing surgery at Maryland General Hospital, his foot was placed in a boot to heal. The man removed the boot several weeks after he was arrested.

His foot hadn't healed properly, so the man complained to the medical office at the Baltimore County Detention Center. The man was transported to several different correctional institutions, but his foot pain and disability were never addressed. When he was transferred to a prison in Roxbury, the man requested a bottom bunk and a cane to aid his navigation through the institution. His request was never granted, and the man ruptured the cornea in his right eye when he fell while trying to jump up to his top bunk. The eye didn't respond well to treatments, and it was ultimately removed.

The man continued to complain about his foot pain, and he was seen by a variety of general physicians and physician's assistants. In an attempt to manage the man's pain, the underqualified medical specialists prescribed several ineffective medications including anti-depressants and a muscle relaxer. Finally, five years after the man was arrested, he was seen by an appropriate specialist. An orthopedic doctor wrote him an order for orthopedic shoes and anesthesia gel, which would provide topical pain relief. Unfortunately, the man never received the medication.

Additionally, the man suffers from acid reflux. According to the prison medical team, an eruption of stomach acid corroded the tissue in his esophagus, causing a hiatal hernia. The man never received treatment for his conditions. Instead, he was prescribed Prilosec, a medication used to treat stomach and esophagus problems, but he is worried that his health care providers are over-medicating him.

As a result of both health issues, the man has been frequently vomiting, losing and gaining weight, and in a constant state of excruciating pain. He also experiences abdominal pressure that causes bladder weakness and dark blood in his stool. The healthcare providers claim the hernia is small and will resolve on its own, but they can't explain the blood in his stool.

Additional Comments
  • A hiatal hernia occurs when the top of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm muscle, which normally separates the abdomen from the chest. A small hiatal hernia is harmless, but a large hiatal hernia can cause a food and acid backup in the esophagus. Most of the time large hiatal hernias can be treated with medications or self-care measures, but the most severe cases might require surgery. The claimant, in this case, exhibited several classic symptoms of a large hiatal hernia, including heartburn, regurgitation, acid reflux, vomiting blood, and passing black stools.
  • Washington County, presumably
  • Wexford Health Sources, Inc.
Hospitals Where Patient was Treated
  • Maryland General Hospital of Baltimore City
  • Failing to provide adequate pain management care.
  • Failing to appropriately treat the claimant's broken foot before it healed in such a way that makes orthopedic surgery impossible.
  • Failing to appropriately treat the claimant's hiatal hernia.
  • Failing to prescribe proper medications in proper dosages.
Specific Counts Pled
  • As a direct result of the defendant's negligence, the claimant suffers permanent and severe pain. Considering his unresolved medical issues, the claimant is concerned about the future of his health and wellbeing.
Plaintiff Firm/Attorneys
  • Pro se
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