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Many inmates in the Oregon prison system face substance abuse and mental health issues that are often overlooked, which, unfortunately, may lead to fatal consequences. Under the Eighth Amendment, all citizens are entitled to protection from cruel and unusual punishment, this includes individuals who are incarcerated. Understanding this right is crucial if your loved one has been the victim of medical misconduct at the hands of jail deputies. Those who are incarcerated have rights outlined in the US Constitution and deserve to receive adequate care.
If your loved one has experienced jail deputy medical misconduct, contact a lawyer at Paulson Coletti Law Offices PC by calling (503) 226-6361 or contacting us online.
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Why Choose Our Attorney?
Jail Inmates Are Entitled to Adequate Medical Care
Substance Abuse & Medical Health Problems in Oregon Jails
Consequences of Deputy Misconduct
Types of Deputy Medical Misconduct & Errors in Oregon Jails
How We Investigate Jail Deputy Misconduct Cases
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At Paulson Coletti, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with outstanding support and our unwavering commitment. When you work with us you get:
Contact our jail medical malpractice wrongful death lawyer in Oregon today to learn more about your options.
Under the US Constitution, jail inmates are entitled to adequate medical care, and ignoring these needs while they are incarcerated is not only unconstitutional but can also have dire effects on their health and well-being.
Under the Eighth Amendment, prisoners are entitled to proper and necessary medical care. Neglecting their medical needs in certain circumstances can be seen as cruel and unusual punishment in the eyes of the law. However, the Supreme Court ruled in the Farmer vs. Brenann case that inmates may only bring an Eighth Amendment claim if jail officers show “deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm”. If this is the case, jail deputies or other facility employees may be held liable under the Eighth Amendment if the inmate can prove that the jail employee:
It is important to note that under the Prison Regulation Litigation Act (PRLA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), inmates may only file a federal lawsuit after they have exhausted all administrative remedies within the prison. This may include filing an administrative claim and appealing said claim until a final decision is reached. If a federal claim is filed before exhausting all administrative remedies, this can result in the dismissal of the claim.
Additionally, a prisoner may also bring a personal injury medical malpractice claim against the prison employee(s) under Oregon state law. A medical malpractice claim may be easier to prove as the inmate does not have to demonstrate that the jail officer acted with deliberate indifference or intentionality. Instead, they must prove that another reasonable healthcare provider would have acted differently under the same or similar circumstances.
Substance abuse and mental health are intricately connected, and unfortunately, both go largely unaddressed within the Oregon jail system. In 2020, Oregon voted to decriminalize hard drugs in an effort to reduce the number of people with substance abuse disorder entering the criminal justice system. However, it was not as successful as hoped because many individuals with substance abuse disorder are commonly arrested for adjacent offenses, such as theft or driving under the influence.
While in jail, many inmates would benefit from drug treatment programs and medication to treat addiction. But treating addiction is only half the problem, inmates’ mental health needs to be addressed as well. Mental health issues inmates with substance abuse problems commonly deal with include:
Yet, due to a lack of funding and limited medical staff, less than half of all jails in Oregon can provide drug treatment programs and medication to treat addiction. Lack of these treatment options can be fatal.
Jail deputies deal directly with the inmate population and have a great deal of influence over inmates’ lives. Instances of deputy misconduct can have fatal consequences, as seen in the recent case of James Brauckmiller and Michael Mersereau, the two Multnomah County deputies connected to the death of two inmates.
There are different types of deputy medical misconduct and errors that may occur in Oregon jails caused by various reasons such as lack of training, lack of accountability, and attempting to provide cheap medical care. Many jails have concerning incentives and policies that aim to minimize the number of hospital and specialist visits inmates make each month. This may prevent inmates from receiving potentially life-saving medical care, attention, and diagnoses and may lead to medical malpractice suits due to:
All of these actions may lead to serious injury or even death.
When investigating a jail deputy misconduct case, we collect all possible evidence so that we can help you determine whether you have a case. We will look at evidence such as:
In addition to examining the evidence listed above, we will also engage national experts in corrections and corrections health care. These experts will also examine the evidence and identify violations of constitutional rights, deliberate indifference, and medical malpractice and offer their expert testimony in court to strengthen your claim.
The experienced attorneys at Paulson Coletti are here to help you if your loved one has experienced jail deputy medical misconduct. Contact us by phone at (503) 226-6361 or online to schedule a free case consultation and learn more about your legal options.