Roger Cook, 55, was released from Douglas County Jail and died just ten
days later from advanced lung cancer that had gone untreated. The
Douglas County Jail and Correct Care Solutions (Douglas County Jail’s
medical service provider) now face lawsuits.
Cook was so sick upon his release that he could not even make it to the
door of his cousin’s home, where he was scheduled to stay following his
release. He was rushed to Bergan Mercy Medical Center and was
diagnosed with the lung disease. The lung disease caused him to suffer for
his last six long months while in prison.
Although Cook had told the guards that he was experiencing health
problems, no one listened or tried to provide treatment. Upon hearing about
the latest facts in Cook’s case, his attorneys, Thomas White and Benjamin
White of Omaha, are now filing lawsuits for negligence and medical
malpractice against The Douglas County Jail.
In addition, Correct Care Solutions, the company providing medical
services for the jail, has also been named in the lawsuits. It is not the first
time Correct Care Solutions has found themselves in the middle of
litigation. They are currently being sued for six deaths in Colorado jails, and
some in Washington State. From Douglas County alone, Correct Care
Solutions receives $5.7 million a year to provide medical services. When
Correct Care Solutions fails to provide medical services, they can retain
more of their profit, which is the basis of the lawsuits.
In addition to Cook, the lawsuits also name 12 other inmates in the Douglas
County Jail that were not given the proper medical attention they needed.
While Cook’s was the most severe case, others had suffered from a
number of conditions and illnesses such as chlamydia, a broken hip, and a
stroke. Like Cook, these inmates had not received the medical treatment
“Inmates have certain rights while they are in custody, with proper medical
care being one of the primary ones,” says Thomas Inkelaar of Inkelaar
Law. “It is clear from these cases, and others around the country, that
Correct Care has been negligent in providing that care. However, Douglas
County Jail has a responsibility as well to ensure the providers they hire are
doing what is expected of them. Clearly there was little oversight and they
need to be held liable for that, as well.”
The director of Douglas County Jail, Mark Foxall, did not comment on these
specific lawsuits. He did state that the Douglas County Board was currently
trying to determine if Correct Care would be replaced as the medical
provider for the jail. Until that decision has been made, Correct Care will
continue providing services for the jail until September 2018, which is when
their contract will expire.