WellPath, the Tennessee company with a trail of numerous civil actions regarding inmates who died while in its care, appears not to be slowed by the cloud of that litigation. Earlier this month, Oregon Public Radio reported that WellPath and Clark County had agreed to a three-year contract for services at the county jail and the youth detention facility in Vancouver. Whether inmate care is provided by an outside entity or by a local government, whenever those providing that care put dollars over people, harm (and, too often, death) will inevitably result. If your family has been touched by this kind of loss due to provider negligence, don’t delay in reaching out to an experienced jail medical neglect lawyer to discuss what options your family has.
According to the OPB report, the agreement called for WellPath to receive $5.87 million in the first year of the deal, with increases of 4-8% in each of the next two years.
WellPath provides care in jails and prisons in 36 states, including seven in Oregon. Currently, the company is facing four separate civil lawsuits in Oregon alleging that it was liable for the wrongful death of inmates under its care.
In another case, which was recently settled, this office represented the family of an inmate who died in a jail where WellPath provided inmate care. In that case, the woman was going through extreme alcohol detox. Arriving at the Yamhill County Jail, the woman began experiencing hand tremors and needed help walking. Nevertheless, WellPath did not take appropriate steps to treat delirium tremens; they merely placed her in a cell that was supposed to be medically monitored. Tragically, she was not monitored — no vitals were even taken — and she died a few hours after being booked.
A Track Record of Problems Spanning Multiple States
Last year, a California inmate died after committing suicide. The facility, where WellPath was the care provider, allegedly had the inmate on a suicide watch, but then subsequently took him off, and he died less than 24 hours later. A Colorado inmate died after WellPath employees allegedly gave him too much, too little, or no medication on half of the days he was incarcerated.
Also pending is a case arising from a jail death in Josephine County, another facility where WellPath is contracted to provide care. In that case, a woman with schizophrenia was booked into jail in late July. Jail authorities placed her in segregated housing. According to the lawsuit, WellPath workers initially gave the woman an antipsychotic drug but stopped 16 days later. The inmate committed suicide in early September. Perhaps most shockingly, the complaint alleged that, during the woman’s 40-day stint in the jail, she “did not see a doctor, a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant, or a nurse employed by the medical and mental health providers.”
“No one was disciplined or fired for [the inmate’s] death, the lawsuit states. Wellpath continues to provide mental health and medical services at the Josephine County Jail,” Oregon Public Broadcasting noted.
At Kaplan Law LLC, our experienced Washington and Oregon jail medical neglect attorneys are dedicated to helping the loved ones of people who died while locked up because those who had an obligation to provide appropriate care didn’t live up to that responsibility. When that happens, it is a deprivation of that inmate’s constitutional rights, and we’re committed to helping those families seek justice. Call us today at (503) 226-3844 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.