Suit Claims HIV Segregation in County Jail

A former pretrial detainee at the Payne County Detention Center claims that employees segregated him because he is HIV positive.  In a federal complaint filed Wednesday, the detainee, identified as John Doe, claims that he was initially placed in general population, but was suddenly removed by jailers shortly after his arrival and placed in the facility’s high security isolation unit where he remained for several months until discharge.

Doe claims the isolation was discriminatory because it deprived him of services regularly provided to other similarly situated inmates who were not HIV positive.  The complaint identifies unequal treatment in regular access to showers, telephones, religious services and socialization.  Doe claims the isolation and unequal treatment caused depression and anxiety.

The complaint seeks compensatory damages under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as Amended.

In a separate count, Doe claims the medical service provider at the Payne County Detention Center did nothing as Doe exhausted his supply of HIV medication.  Doe claims the service provider, Advanced Correctional Healthcare, did not order any HIV medication despite knowledge that he would run out.  After several days without medication, Doe claims that Advanced Correctional Healthcare made him rely on third parties to bring outside medication to the facility in violation of the standard of care and the services contract with Payne County, which cost taxpayers in excess of $250,000.00 for the twelve month period beginning July 1, 2011.

Doe claims that Advanced Correctional Healthcare’s refusal to purchase HIV medication is part of a larger practice of pocketing taxpayer money instead of purchasing medication as required by its contract with Payne County.  Doe cited a similar case from Illinois where the President of Advanced Correctional Healthcare admitted that continuity of care was important, but otherwise dismissed the risk of harm associated with an involuntary treatment interruption.

Based on the life-threatening nature of the conduct alleged, and the profit motive, Doe is seeking punitive damages against Advanced Correctional Healthcare to deter it and others from committing similar acts in the future.  Doe further claims that the denial of life-sustaining HIV medication caused severe anxiety out of fear that his condition would deteriorate. Doe claims the additional stress led to further depression, sleeplessness, despair and agitation.

A copy of the file-stamped complaint is available here:  Doe v. Payne Co. Bd. of County Commr’s et al., Case No. 13-cv-00108-F.


*John Doe is represented by the attorneys at Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC.  If you have further questions, please use the contact information on the right.