History Other / 1983- Civil Rights
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Autor: anton 05 March 2011
Words: 392 | Pages: 2
Liability of Individual Agents Under Section 1983
The most serious cause of action is the allegation that TransCor and its agents were deliberately indifferent to Mr. Irons' medical needs. In order to prove this cause of action, Mr. Irons-must prove that:
1. He had a serious medical need, in this case AIDS;
2. The denial of medical care was objectively serious or led
to a serious result;
3. The individual defendants acted with a sufficiently
culpable state of mind, which is generally viewed as a
reckless disregard for the prisoner's health, preventing
an inmate from receiving recommended treatment or
intentional refusal to provide medical care;
4. The delay in or the denial of medical care caused the
injuries complained of; and
5. Damages resulting from the denial of medical care.
In the present case, it is undisputed that Mr. Irons was diagnosed with AIDS prior to being transported by TransCor. AIDS is considered to be a serious medical need. Furthermore, it is alleged that he developed one or two boils while he was in TransCor's custody. The boils may also be considered serious medical needs, especially in view of the fact' that Mr. Irons was ultimately treated with antibiotics.
The failure to provide Mr. Irons with his HIV-related medication for 6 days, by itself, probably would not be considered objectively serious. Judicial opinions on this issue have referred to expert testimony which states that it requires 2-3 weeks before the failure to receive medication has an effect on the progression of the AIDS virus.
The expert report submitted by John J. Stern, MD on behalf of Mr. Irons attributes his boils to a combination of the lack of medication, the lack of daily showers and an allegedly inadequate diet. Although Mr. Irons did not allege in his Amended Complaint that his diet was inadequate or that he needed to take a shower on a daily basis, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure most likely would permit him to amend his Complaint a second time.
The testimony regarding whether the individual agents acted with a sufficiently culpable state of mind will likely be a question of fact for the jury. Mr. Irons testified in his deposition (1} that he told the agents involved that he did not have his medication, (2) that beginning on May 19, he was developing boils on his buttocks and on his underarm, and (3) that he needed to be taken to a hospital.
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