My partner was in jail and complained repeatedly of pain in his pelvic region, trouble urinating and constipation.

Asked almost 2 years ago - Santa Cruz, CA

He was being given Flomax for enlarged prostate though the jail doctor had never examined him. He told the medical staff many times that he was in pain, he lost considerable weight and could barely walk. He went 3 months with no treatment and very little pain medicine.. When I saw him in court it was obvious his health was deteriorating rapidly. After searching for what could be wrong on the internet I wrote a letter to the commander of the jail and he was diagnosed with mestatic prostate cancer. He was then released to house arrest so he could seek treatment. That was a year ago. He died earlier this month. Do I have grounds to sue the county or its doctor for not diagnosing or treating him, possibly causing him to die sooner than he should have.

Additional information

My research says most diagnosed at this stage live more than 2 years...many 5 or 10 years.... His psa was normal 4 years previously...He started experiencing the bone pain about a week or two after his arrest....

I was his domestic partner acting as caregiver so probably dont have a cause of action... but maybe his kids do?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Jeffrey E Strauss

    Contributor Level 5

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    Answered . What you describe does not sound like a criminal law issue but rather one of possible medical malpractice by the medical authorities at the jail which means the jail administrators, county or state, whoever was in charge of medical delivery at the jail. However, you may not have the legal right to go to a lawyer and seek recovery because that depends upon the relationship you had with the deceased. Secondly, from a malpractice standpoint it sounds like the cancer was advanced by the time he was in jail so the chances of recovery in such a case would be either minimal or none. A malpractice lawyer would have to review the records. Thirdly, there could be a civil rights issue but the requirements are extensive and difficult to overcome under these circumstances. The best thing to do is contact a lawyer in the general area who does malpractice and see if you can even start an investigation then follow the attorney's advice from there. Hope this helps.

  2. Stephen Ross Cohen

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . It sounds as if his cancer was pretty advanced when he went to jail, and what is your legal relationship to the person. Were you married? Son, Daughter or Parent?

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and I have practiced over 38 years and can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practiced... more
  3. Michael Douglas Shafer

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Possibly, but probably dependent upon your relationship to this person.

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