A new lawsuit claims that a 27-year old Kansas inmate died from a brain-eating fungus after prison officials ignored his health concerns.
Marques Davis purportedly suffered from prolonged bouts of confusion and pain.
Pleading with employees of Corizon Health, which is tasked with overseeing the health needs of prisoners at the Hutchinson Correction Facility, Davis said that “it feels like something is eating my brain.”
He became delirious to the point where he was once found drinking his own urine. The lawsuit claims that, in addition to confusion, he experienced problems with his senses of speech and vision.
“You could see that he was really hanging on to life,” Davis’s mother, Shermaine Walker, told the New York Daily News.
Although the prisoner was finally admitted to an intensive care unit following a heart attack in April, he lost his life the following day.
The suit, filed Monday, claims that he was denied “meaningful medical treatment” for eight months.
Corizon and 14 of its employees are named as defendants.
The Daily News reports that a CT scan taken at the hospital showed “dramatic swelling of the brain sufficient to force the upper part of the brain down into the lower part of the brain.”
Walker says that her son had started feeling ill the year before.
What started out as a pronounced limp gradually became worse, to the point where Davis felt his brain being consumed from within.
He lost his appetite, began sweating uncontrollably, and drank his own urine.
“I was calling the jail every day,” recounts Walker. “He’s telling me, they haven’t done anything.
“They would give him Ibuprofen and send him back.”
His complaints about pain from within his brain were purportedly brushed to the side and ignored.
“He says, ‘mom, whatever is going on with me, it’s messing with my mind.’ He would tell me this on a daily basis,” Walker said.
Moreover, the suit alleges that Corizon has a longstanding practice of putting its profits before patients.
The healthcare company has been sued some 660 times, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
“As long as Corizon is motivated by its bottom line, there will always be a perverse incentive not to provide treatment,” wrote the ACLU.
Corizon, according to the ACLU, makes $1.4 billion per year off its sick patients.
For its part, Corizon said, “We expect any legal proceedings to reveal Mr. Davis’ care was appropriate.”
“They are getting paid to take care of them, and it doesn’t look like they are doing that,” said Walker. “They have let several people die for no reason.”
Davis was serving a 53-year sentence for aggravated assault and attempted murder.
Despite the serious conviction, his mother says her son was happy, outgoing, and smart. He left behind a 9-year old daughter.