A former inmate at the Boonville Correctional Center is suing the prison and its contracted health care provider, alleging they failed to treat him for a serious spinal injury suffered while incarcerated that causes ongoing medical problems.
Jeremy Bradshaw was serving a seven-year sentence for unlawfully possessing a firearm when he woke to use the bathroom early Nov. 13, 2015. As he was sitting, he felt pain in his lower pelvis and lost consciousness. He awoke in a pool of blood and couldn’t move, according to the complaint.
Corrections officers carried Bradshaw on a gurney around 3:45 a.m. to the medical unit. The on-staff nurses accused him of faking his injuries and didn’t immediately treat him, the complaint alleges.
A nurse, named in the lawsuit as Mardene Baker, evaluated Bradshaw, who was in pain, could hardly move his limbs, complained of tingling in his hands and feet, and told the nurse he was concerned he had a stroke, according to the complaint.
Baker didn’t give Bradshaw any medication or contact a physician, and the inmate was shackled to a bed and placed in observation, the complaint alleges.
Nurse Susan Price evaluated Bradshaw again at 8:30 a.m., and reported that he had no feeling in his left leg, dragged his right foot, couldn’t walk without assistance and was shivering periodically, according to the complaint.
Price also accused Bradshaw of faking the ailments and ordered him back to his housing unit, the complaint alleges. Bradshaw couldn’t walk on his own and insisted he be allowed to stay in the medical unit until he was evaluated by a physician, according to the complaint. Unknown corrections officers refused to return Bradshaw to his housing unit, and allowed him to remain in the medical unit.
Dr. Arthur Keiper evaluated Bradshaw around 9 a.m. and called for EMS to transport him to University Hospital in Columbia. At the hospital, an MRI revealed that Bradshaw had suffered two herniated disks and a spinal cord contusion, and he underwent emergency back surgery, according to the complaint.
Doctors prescribed medication and physical therapy after the surgery, but Bradshaw was never given the medication or physical therapy, the complaint alleges. Because he didn’t receive adequate care for his spinal injury, Bradshaw claims he developed a condition that makes it difficult for him to use the restroom.
The “willful and wanton indifference” to Bradshaw’s medical needs caused him to have ongoing pain and medical issues, the complaint alleges. It names the nurses Baker and Price as defendants for failing to provide care. It also names the Missouri Department of Corrections, Director Anne Precythe, Boonville Correctional Center Warden Rebecca Ehlers, and Corizon Health — the company that provides medical services for the prison.
The lawsuit alleges they all failed to provide adequate policies and training to ensure Bradshaw received necessary medical care, thus violating his Constitutional right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment. It also alleges the department and Corizon were negligent in hiring and supervising the nurses, and that Corizon violated its contract to provide medical services for the department. Bradshaw is seeking a jury trial and a monetary judgement against the defendants.
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Karen Pojmann said the department doesn’t comment on pending litigation, but noted that in 2015, Precythe did not work for the department and Ehlers was not warden of the Boonville prison.
Bradshaw’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment. Corizon Health spokeswoman Eve Hutcherson said the company is reviewing the lawsuit.