The lawyers at Budge & Heipt sincerely believe that prisoners and jail inmates are entitled to adequate care and humane treatment—whether they are being held in jail before a conviction as a “pretrial detainee” or whether they are being held in prison or jail as a convicted prisoner. The fact is that inmates and detainees have constitutional rights to adequate medical care and to be free from deliberate indifference by jail officers and correctional healthcare providers. When these constitutional rights are violated and cause great suffering or death to an incarcerated person, we work hard to pursue civil lawsuits and obtain compensation. In short, at Budge & Heipt we seek to hold jails, prisons, corrections officers and their supervisors, medical providers, and correctional healthcare companies legally responsible when we believe the facts justify a civil remedy.
Among the modern trends in correctional healthcare is the move towards “privatizing” the constitutional obligation to provide medical care to jail inmates. Counties and other municipalities are increasingly signing contracts with for-profit corporations called “correctional healthcare companies” to provide medical care at jails and prisons. Under many circumstances, these companies can be sued as government actors for violating the constitutional rights of inmates and detainees to adequate medical care. The lawyers at Budge & Heipt have successfully pursued these cases, and we pride ourselves on understanding the fine legal permutations surrounding them. Because of our vast experience, we are familiar with the medical issues surrounding drug, alcohol, and prescription medication withdrawal, as well as other forms of medical neglect. We have successfully pursued lawsuits on behalf of inmates denied treatment for heart conditions, high blood pressure, difficulty breathing, diabetes, infections, and even on behalf of people who have been denied treatment for mental illness resulting in death from dehydration.
Sadly, medical neglect in jail happens too frequently. When a person is harmed or dies from medical neglect in jail or prison, “deliberate indifference” is often cited as the constitutional standard governing civil lawsuits.