A Utah County man has filed suit in U.S. District Court against a nurse at the Utah County Jail for failure to give him the proper medical care while he was an inmate at the facility. He contends that as a result, he may have been rendered sterile.
The suit, filed in behalf of the claimant by Salt Lake civil rights attorney Brian Barnard, claims negligence on the part of the nurse as well as violation of the claimant's constitutional rights. The suit seeks an unspecified amount of damages but does state that the ongoing medical requirements of the claimant will be in excess of $500,000.
The incident described in court filings occurred on Dec. 23, 2006 when the claimant complained to jail staff that he had severe pain and swelling in his genitalia. At that time, the only medical staff at the facility was a nurse who visited the man in response to the complaint. The suit claims that the man was not properly examined and did not receive medical treatment or further examination until the jail physician returned from the Christmas holiday on Dec. 26. Documents go on to state that the delay in treatment resulted in permanent damage requiring hormone replacement therapy that will be required for the rest of his life, and that the claimant has "probably been rendered sterile and incapable of fathering children."
Barnard said in an e-mail that a medical malpractice claim will be added to the suit and that, in reference to the claimant's medical problem while at the jail, "one would hope that a jail nurse would know the need for immediate attention."
Barnard added that, "one would hope that an inmate with a major medical emergency would not be dismissed because it was the Christmas weekend."