Pro Se Can You See How Sick They Are?

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With an ongoing federal investigation into the health care practices at the Dallas County Jail, numerous litigious inmates are, it seems, jumping on the bandwagon, alleging to be the victims of medical neglect. These are largely pro se federal lawsuits, with their scribbled allegations calling to mind some sort of diary entry. Still, it's hard to discount many of these claims that have been broadly corroborated by judges, outside attorneys and doctors.

Robert Darden, whose lawsuit was recently dismissed on procedural grounds, alleges that the medical staff often failed to change his colostomy bag for a week or longer, which is the same complaint Jerry Mooney and his family had during his incarceration. Francis Tejanie Kundra claimed that the jail is a breeding ground for tuberculosis. That should sound familiar to the jail's former medical director, Dr. Stephen Bowers, who said the same thing under deposition in a separate lawsuit against the jail, noting that for a variety of reasons the staff does not do enough to identify and isolate those with the disease. Kundra, meanwhile, said he contracted TB after he was placed in an cell with someone who was infected.

Another inmate, Alvin Strong, claimed he contracted both TB and staph infection while he was a ward of the county and detailed an incident during which an inmate with some sort of ailment bled profusely in a tank and no one cleaned it up. Lastly, inmate Hector Cueras Garcia has filed a suit arguing that it took weeks for the medical staff to treat a bleeding wound on his leg, which is almost the same song and verse of Jeffrey Ellard, the inmate a state judge released on a personal recognizance bond so that he could belatedly receive care for a festering gash on his upper thigh. There are dozens more of these suits sitting in the federal courthouse downtown; start your collection now. --Matt Pulle

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