Can I sue a prison if it failed to provide me with adequate dental care which has now resulted in enormous pain and suffering?

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Can I sue a prison if it failed to provide me with adequate dental care which has now resulted in enormous pain and suffering?

While I was incarcerated the prison ignored my dental needs, even after agreeing to fix many problems. As a result I suffered over 2 years of pain (and still am in pain) because the prison didn’t do the work. The prison is suppose to do the work. They agreed to and I requested help, time and time again. I have 2 1/2 years of documentation of the prison ignoring my results or flat out lying to me. The prison sent me to an out-of-state facility when they weren’t supposed to, do to the dental problems and the “for-profit” prison wouldn’t hearing anything I had to say. Some of the problems I know of are loss of bone in the upper and lower jaw, advanced periodontal issues, numerous cavities, pus and blood emitting from the gums, and overall pain. Now that I’m out of prison, can I bring suit? I’m thinking yes, and I’m thinking after legal fees, medical treatment, and hopefully pain and suffering. I have a figure of 6 million. Is this nonsense or am I within reality?

Asked on December 1, 2010 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There have been suits brought in the past by inmates regarding what they believed to be a certain lack of medical attention and care which they believed was tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment.  It did not always fly.  But it is my understanding that inmates are entitled to medical and dental care while in prison and although I do not know what the standard of care is in determining the issues involved here, I am fairly sure that negligence in caring for an inmate is not not tolerated just because of the incarceration.  It is true that certain Constitutional rights are curtailed while in prison but this is not in this category. I would speak with a local personal injury attorney on the matter but you will need documentation as to all that you have alleged here. 


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