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Former Inmate Awarded $1M in Medical Malpractice Case

— August 2, 2019

Armor Correctional Health Services Inc. recently agreed to settle a medical malpractice suit with a former Virginia inmate for $1 million.

A medical malpractice lawsuit settlement was agreed to earlier this week and will award a former inmate at a Virginia prison $1 million. The suit was originally filed against Armor Correctional Health Services Inc., the medical staff at Lunenburg Correctional Center, a Virginia prison and claimed the medical staff improperly treated the inmate’s broken finger. To this day the inmate, John Kinlaw, claims he still feels the effects in his wounded finger.

When commenting on the settlement, Kinlaw said, “there should be no difference in the standard of treatment between an inmate and a regular person. The people that mistreated me were going to be held responsible.”

Lunenburg Courthouse
Lunenburg Courthouse; image courtesy of Rhyssdavies via Wikimedia Commons,

The suit was filed shortly after Kinlaw was released back in 2017. According to him, he “fractured a finger bone in the prison recreation yard and medical staff only gave him an ice pack and Motrin.” Additionally, the suit claims the medical staff ignored X-rays “that showed he could need surgery.” As a result, Kinlaw had to suffer from the pain of the fractured finger for weeks, even though he notified “Dr. Charles Nwaokocha, contracted by ARMOR, that his hand still needed medical attention.” However, “the medical staff failed to move forward in having his hand properly stabilized or get him surgery,” according to the suit.

Eventually, the pain and damage in his finger became so bad that Kinlaw began having trouble closing his hand “and he was afraid his fracture was healing the wrong way.” To make matters worse, the suit alleges “Armor – including Nurse Banks, Nurse Price, and Nwaokocha – either denied or delayed any additional treatment or imaging for his hand.”

A month and a half after the injury happened, Kinlaw met with Nwaokocha and told him that his “ring finger could not bend.” In response, the doctor simply said his injury needed more time to heal. In the end, Kinlaw waited more than 100 days before he was finally taken to a specialist, “who confirmed his hand healed wrong.” Kinlaw added:

There are a lot of things I’ll never be able to do again. According to the testimony, I possibly have to get the amputation that my orthopedists have said I may have a chance to get back all of my dexterity.”

Throughout the litigation process, Kinlaw was assisted by Nexus Services Inc., an organization that helps fund medical malpractice prison cases. When explaining how the group works, Mike Donovan, the president and CEO of Nexus, said:

What we do is we take cases involving complaints about government agencies police, prisons and jails and evaluate them and refer them to a law firm to prosecute them, so we’ve been working with john now for a couple of years now. It’s very clear that they just didn’t want to spend money and perhaps that’s the ultimate irony because now they are going to have to pay over a million dollars to Mr. Kinlaw.”


Former Virginia inmate wins $1M in medical malpractice suit

$1 million awarded to former Va. prison inmate who alleged faulty medical care may cost him finger

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