Florida medical malpractice lawyer discussed medical malpractice in the Florida prison setting.
A recent report in the San Francisco Chronicle explained that the California Court of Appeals overturned a prisoner's family medical malpractice award of 1.7 million because the Department of Corrections was immune from suit.
In this case, a prisoner died of penile cancer because the condition went untreated for over a year. The medical records and evidence showed that the prisoner had lesions on his penis and other signs and symptoms that suggested cancer. A biopsy was ordered and not carried out. The court of appeals found that the state was immune because it could only be held liable if the healthcare provider failed to take reasonable action to summon medical care. In this case, the healthcare provider summoned a medical test; the test just wasn't carried out.
Florida's State of Immunity
Healthcare providers who are employees of the Florida Department of Corrections are also covered under sovereign immunity. However, it is not as drastic as California's because it is capped at $100,000. If the facts of the case are bad enough to meet the deliberate indifference to a serious medical need standard, then the prisoner or his/her family does not have to worry about the sovereign immunity caps. Further, a number of private healthcare companies like GeoGroup, Prison Health Services (PHS) and Wexford have provided medical care in the Florida prison system. These private medical provider groups are not covered under sovereign immunity.
What do you think about the situation in California?
If you have any questions about a Florida prison medical malpractice or deliberate indifference claim, give me a call at (352) 267-9168 our fill out the internet consultation form on the right side of the screen.