Former inmate accuses Allegheny County, Corizon Health of poor medical care

Annie Hunt Feb. 15, 2016, 12:41pm


PITTSBURGH — A former Allegheny County Jail inmate is suing the county and a health care business, alleging inadequate medical care.

Tremaine Epps filed a lawsuit on Feb. 2 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Orlando Harper, the county of Allegheny, Corizon Health Inc., Michael Barfield, and additional unknown defendants, including unidentified corrections officers and unidentified health care providers, alleging violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, negligence, and failure to protect.

According to the complaint, Corizon Health Inc. was hired by the Allegheny County Jail to provide medical care and health operations at the facility. On Dec. 15, 2014, the suit says, the Allegheny County Office of Controller published an examination report detailing the jail’s alleged failure to comply with reporting requirements and maintain required staff levels. Epps was in the custody of the Allegheny County Jail in all times relevant to the case.

Epps alleges he was attacked by his cellmate Feb. 3 2014, during which he sustained injuries. He believed his cellmate to be suffering from mental illness and was attacked again on his ankle after allegedly pleading for help. The suit says the plaintiff was subsequently removed from the cell, but on Feb. 4, Epps awoke with severe pain and was unable to walk.

The lawsuit states the jail refused to provide Epps with treatment until Feb. 26, and his ankle was required to be broken a second time due to incorrect healing .

The plaintiff alleges his left ankle has been permanently damaged as a direct result of the defendants’ conduct with subsequent damages to his body, loss in earning capacity, and general health impairment.

Epps seeks compensatory and punitive damages against each defendant, attorney fees, costs, litigation expenses, and a trial by jury. He is represented by attorney David M. Kobylinski of Praetorian Law Group LLC in Pittsburgh.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania Case number 2:16-cv-00135-MPK

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