Saturday, March 10, 2007

Prisoner denied medicine to treat seizure disorder

When he was booked on burglary charges into the downtown King County jail on June 4, 2002, Troy Deimerly told jail health nurses that he suffered from a seizure disorder and needed the drug Klonopin. The workers noted the information.

He never got the drug, according to Jail Health Services records.

He asked for it on June 9, June 10, June 13 and June 14.

No Klonopin.

On June 18, Deimerly met with another nurse for a health screening, again telling of his history of seizures. The nurse refused to take his word and couldn't independently verify his claim, according to her health assessment.

Deimerly tried again, sending a written request for the drug to the jail clinic on July 19. He got no response.

Then, he was assigned a top bunk. Deimerly told his jailers he could have a seizure and fall.
On July 21, Deimerly suffered a seizure and fell from his bunk. He was treated at Harborview Medical Center for "moderate head and neck injuries," according to court documents.

A month later, Deimerly was sent to Western State Hospital. While there, he was examined and given Klonopin.

Deimerly was returned to the jail on Sept. 9, where he was again denied the drug. On Sept. 11, he had another seizure and again fell from his bunk. This time, he wound up in a cervical collar.

Deimerly sued.

"It seems to me that he has a fairly strong claim that the county employees were recklessly indifferent to his medical needs," wrote attorney Jim Lobsenz, appointed by the court to represent Deimerly's interests.

The county settled the case for about $20,000.
Jail Health Services will not comment on specific cases.


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