Jail authority asks judge to dismiss lawsuit alleging it failed to provide medical care

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 28, 2017

CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority has filed a motion asking Kanawha Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman to dismiss a lawsuit against it alleging it failed to provide medical care.

CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority has filed a motion asking Kanawha Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman to dismiss a lawsuit against it alleging it failed to provide medical care.

The plaintiff failed to comply with the notice requirement of West Virginia code prior to filing his lawsuit, which should result in mandatory dismissal, according to the Feb. 1 motion to dismiss.

The motion states that the failure to satisfy the statutory condition precedent prior to filing the civil action against the state agency demands that the action against the state agency be dismissed.

In January 2015, Kandi George was on probation for a prior offense and her probation was revoked for a minor violation involving a pill count and she was remanded to Southern Regional Jail, according to a complaint filed Jan. 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Zachary George claims Kandi George had numerous health issues at the time of her incarceration and the staff at the jail were aware of these health issues, including high blood pressure, for which she had been prescribed medication that she was taking prior to her incarceration.

While at the jail, Kandi George was denied her medication for high blood pressure, as well as other medications that she needed, according to the suit.

Zachary George claims while at the jail, Kandi George suffered symptoms and ailments for which she sought medical attention on at least two occasions, including severe headaches, pain, and numbness and tingling in her extremities.

The medical staff at the hail did nothing to help Kandi George’s medical condition and provided no appropriate medication or physician care, according to the suit.

Zachary George claims on Jan. 29, 2015, Kandi George’s pod was locked down for the purpose of distributing medication to the inmates and, during the lock down, one of Kandi George’s cell mates informed the correctional officer that she was unconscious or that something was wrong with her, but the correctional officer ignored the cell mate’s pleas and only sought to wake Kandi George to obtain her signature on a form declining medication.

Kandi George was eventually removed from her cell and was taken to the medical unit, but there was no room for her there and she was taken to the booking unit and left there alone, covered by a blanket, for approximately three to four hours, according to the suit.

Zachary George claims she was finally transported to Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital and, from there, she was immediately airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, where she died on Jan. 30 at 12:43 a.m.

The cause of death listed on Kandi George’s death certificate was “hypertensive cerebral hemorrhage,” according to the suit.

Zachary George is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Weldon Mark Burnett of Mark Burnette PA; and Jeffrey S. Rodgers.

The jail authority is represented by M. Andrew Brison of Anspach Meeks Ellenberger LLP.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 17-C-98

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