Inmate sues Northern Correctional Facility, others for negligence

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 24, 2010

CHARLESTON -- An inmate incarcerated within the Northern Correctional Facility is suing the commissioner of the state Division of Corrections, the warden of the Northern Correctional Facility, the president of Prime Care Medical Inc. and others after he claims they have been negligent is after surgery care.

The defendants in the case are Jim Rubenstein, Commissioner of the W.Va. Division of Corrections; Evelyn Seifert, Warden of Northern Correctional Facility; Dr. Karl Hoffman, President of Prime Care Medical, Inc.; Cecilia Janiszewski, Medical Director of Prime Care Medical at Northern Correctional Facility; Dr. Neil Marshall, Eye Doctor for Prime Care at Northern Correctional Facility; and Prime Care Medical, Inc. of West Virginia.

On Sept. 26, 2008, Michael Breeden fell down a flight of steps at Northern Correctional Facility, according to a complaint filed Feb. 9 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Breeden claims there was a puddle of water at the top of the steps from the shower and that the water caused the steps to become slippery and he " the bottom of the steps."

Breeden was placed in a medical cell for two days before being examined by a doctor and upon seeing the doctor he was prescribed pain medication for a couple of days, but "his pleas for help with the severe pain went ignored," according to the suit.

After waiting several months, Breeden was able to see Marshall for the eye problems he had been having since his fall, according to the suit, and Marshall diagnosed him with pterygiun, a growth of mucous membrane extending over the inner portion of the conjunctiva of the eye.

On Jan. 22, 2009, Marshall made a referral for Breeden to be reviewed by Dr. Mohammad Anwar, another ophthalmologist. Anwar prescribed eye medication and referred Breeden to Dr. Lee Wiley at West Virginia University.

On March 13, 2009, Wiley examined Breeden and recommended conjunctial neoplasm of the right eye, which needed a surgical excision, which was performed April 27, 2009.

Wiley diagnosed Breeden with carcinoma, but the cancer had not become invasion of surrounding tissues according to the suit.

Breeden claims Wiley prescribed medicated salve for his eye and on May 1, 2009, when he attempted to receive the salve before bedtime, he was told he did not need it. On May 3, he claims the same nurse refused to put eye drops in his eye, but then handed the drops to another inmate and permitted the inmate to put the medication in Breeden's eye.

"The inmate who was permitted to put the drops in the plaintiff's eye is diagnosed with hepatitis-C and has no sort of medical training," the complaint states.

Breeden claims the defendants were negligent and acted with deliberate indifference in his treatment and care. He claims due to the defendants' negligence, he was forced to suffer severe pain and suffering.

Breeden is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, that the court order the defendants repay him for the co-payment charges he was charged for the ongoing requests for care and that the court order that the defendants cannot retaliate for the filing and/or prosecution of this case. He is representing himself.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-240

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