Colorado Jury Awards $11M to Inmate Who Suffered Stroke

December 18, 2014

A federal jury has awarded $11 million to a former Jefferson County, Co., jail inmate who said a nurse ignored his medical needs while he suffered a stroke.

The jury on Monday found that Correctional Healthcare Companies and the nurse it employed at the jail were deliberately indifferent to Kenneth McGill on Sept. 17, 2012. Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink and the county commission also were named in the suit, which was filed in April 2013.

McGill, 46, told The Denver Post that 24 hours passed before he received treatment despite telling the nurse he was having a stroke. He said his face was drooping, his body was numb and his speech slurred. He was being held in the jail on a drunken-driving charge when he began to suffer the symptoms.

“I was scared to death that I was going to die,” McGill told the newspaper. “I was actively having a stroke in front of nursing staff, and they were telling me that I was wrong.”

A nurse told him to drink water, as he was probably dehydrated. A deputy later put him in a wheelchair and took him to see a doctor’s assistant, he said. The assistant took some tests and sent him back to his pod.

An attorney for the company did not immediately return a call for comment.

McGill’s lawsuit said other inmates noticed his symptoms and believed he was suffering a stroke.

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