Sunday, October 19, 2014

19-year-old dies of gangrene lying naked on Madison County AL jail cell floor


Three times last year Madison County jailers watched small-time criminals die before their eyes, according to a series of three lawsuits filed in federal court.

Each argues that Madison County withholds the most basic medical care in order to save money, banking on the insurance of the medical contractor to cover any resulting lawsuits.

The lawsuits are filled with maladies long ago conquered by modern medicine. Death by gangrene, from broken bones, from constipation.

Deundrez Woods, a 19-year-old from Huntsville, was arrested for shoplifting Star Wars DVDs at Wal-Mart in June of 2013 and then for passing a phony $100 bill in July. He was sent to jail, the suit asserts, where a wound in his foot became infected and he died.

At first, he behaved normally. The suit states as gangrene took hold, he suffered a “severe and sudden change in mental functioning,” began hallucinating and could no longer communicate.

“Woods’ mental status change was due to that infection, and he ultimately died from a blood clot that originated in his gangrenous foot,” reads the complaint filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.

Instead of receiving treatment, the suit states, Woods was placed in a “medical observation cell” on Aug. 6, 2013. He had no access to water after Aug. 12. There is no record of him eating after Aug. 14. No nurses visited him after Aug. 14.

The suit contends that as his rotting foot began to stink, guards dragged him from the cell on Aug. 17, sprayed him down with water and placed him in a new cell.

“Still, no correction officer or ACH nurse did anything to even check Woods, let alone help him,” reads the complaint.