Attorneys for the widow and daughter of a deceased Arizona prisoner have notified the state that they plan to sue the Department of Corrections for $10 million.
Inmate Anthony Brown’s widow, Jami Brown, and his daughter, Jenna Jumper, contend that Anthony was denied prompt medical treatment after he suffered a skull fracture in October 2012 and bled into his brain after suffering seizure-like symptoms. He was incarcerated in 2005 and was serving a 10-year sentence for aggravated assault. The inmate was eligible for early release from prison later this year.
Anthony Brown was taking morphine prescribed by a prison doctor to help with pain from esophageal cancer. A notice of claim, filed March 29, said a nurse assigned to the Lewis state prison accused Brown of drug-seeking and faking pain. When the prison ran out of morphine on Oct. 4, 2012, the claim said, Brown was switched to a different drug, Lortab. Medical records indicate he began to exhibit bizarre behavior after the medication was changed.
Prison officials found him unresponsive in his cell on Oct. 7, 2012. According to Corrections records, when officers called for help, the nurse on duty refused to go to the cell. Brown suffered a heart attack and died the next day at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
A notice of claim is a precursor to a lawsuit, putting those named on notice that a lawsuit is intended to be filed in Maricopa County Superior Court.
Those named include the Department of Corrections, Wexford Health Sources, which at the time was contracted with Arizona to provide medical care at state prisons, and Wexford medical staff.
Corrections officials declined to comment on the notice of claim. Wexford said in a statement issued Saturday that it was confident the company and its employees acted appropriately.
“And further investigation of this claim will demonstrate and prove the lack of any wrongdoing or negligence by Wexford Health,” Wexford attorney Ed Hochuli said in the statement.
Written by Wendy Halloran
12 News | azcentral.com
Sat Apr 6, 2013 2:42 PM
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