Pennsylvania Record

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ex-prisoner sues over failure to get medical treatment behind bars

By Jon Campisi | Jan 2, 2014

A former suburban Philadelphia prison inmate who claims she was forced to live in “inhumane, barbaric conditions,” and suffered daily pain for a period of months due to a failure to get her proper medical care while behind bars has filed a federal civil rights complaint against those responsible for her care.

Bridget Simonds, of Secane, Pa., filed suit Dec. 24 at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Delaware County, Correctional Medical Associates Inc., Community Education Centers Inc. and others over the poor treatment she alleges she received in late 2011.

The plaintiff says she suffered a work related injury while on work release from the Delaware County Prison on Dec. 28 of that year.

At the hospital, doctors diagnosed Simonds with a comminuted distal radial fracture, after which she was taken to the George Hill Correctional Facility with instructions to undergo an orthopedic evaluation in three days.

She was never given such an evaluation, however, but was instead held for two additional months without a further doctor’s consultation or a cast to stabilize her injury, the lawsuit states.

The plaintiff filed two separate grievances during this time, reminding the prison of her medical needs, but they were ignored, Simonds claims in her lawsuit.

The defendants instead “continued to deny plaintiff treatment and failed to transport her to the hospital or an orthopedic surgeon for follow up care,” the complaint states.

“Despite Plaintiff’s continued requests, the defendants intentionally, maliciously, and/or recklessly failed to provide plaintiff with the needed medical care during the course of her incarceration.”

As a result of the defendants actions, or rather inactions, Simonds was “forced to suffer severe and constant pain, and was denied necessary medical devices and/or treatment, resulting in extreme indignity, humiliation, emotional distress, as well as severe physical discomfort, and a serious decline in her medical condition,” the lawsuit states.

By the time Simonds was released from prison in late February 2012, the suit claims, her bones had improperly set, leading to what the plaintiff says was a severe exacerbation of her initial injury, causing permanent nerve damage and paralysis of her right, long finger.

On March 7, 2012, Simonds was forced to undergo an open reduction, internal fixation surgery with median nerve release and placement of plates and screws, according to the complaint.

As a result of the defendants’ combined negligence, Simonds was forced to spend money on medical care, she suffered from physical injury and emotional distress, and she incurred other financial expenses and losses.

The additional defendants named in the complaint are Dr. Phillips, the head of the medical department at the George Hill Correctional Facility, Corrections Officers Dixon and Stacey, and a Jane Doe medical staff officer.

There is also an additional John Doe corrections officer named in the complaint.

The first names of the three aforementioned defendants are not known at this time.

The complaint contains counts of inadequate medical care, custom and policy of unconstitutional conduct, and negligence.

The plaintiff seeks unspecified compensatory damages, plus interest, costs, attorney’s fees and other relief.

Simonds is being represented by Philadelphia attorney Thomas Bruno, II, of the firm Abramson & Denenberg P.C.


The federal case number is 2:13-cv-07565-TON.

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