09 Jun 09
Shane’s $115,000 Court Victory against the Arizona Department of Corrections
Shane - After being denied psychiatric medication by ValueOptions, Shane turned to illegal drugs financed by burglaries. For stealing a few hundred dollars worth of goods, he was sentenced by Judge Ron Reinstein to eleven years. Shane is the author of the blog Persevering Prison Pages.
Here’s the news as told by Shane:
In 2006 I sued because the Arizona Department of Corrections’ doctors and top administrators wouldn’t treat my liver disease, which they diagnosed me with in 1998. In 2005, I had a liver biopsy, and was diagnosed with early cirrhosis caused by chronic hepatitis C. In 2007 I was given chemotherapy to eradicate the hepatitis C. I took shots weekly in the abdomen and pills daily. It was like I had the flu for a year. It was successful and the hepatitis C is undetectable in me today. Only after I sued did they treat me.
I litigated my own case for a year until the law firm Snell & Wilmer, L.L.P. accepted my case pro bono. I defeated the Assistant Attorney General’s motions and was successful in litigating my case in Federal District Court.
After deposing more than 30 members of ADOC’s medical staff and administrators, including the director, Dora B. Schriro (now working under Janet Napolitano in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security), and hiring two medical experts, my attorneys advised me to accept what the Attorney General’s Office offered, as it was the highest amount ever offered to a prisoner for a non-death medical case in years. $115,000!
After fine-tuning the wording of the legally binding agreement to insure I continue to be given proper medical care while in ADOC custody, the Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard – who will likely run for governor next year – had to authorize the agreement.
Many inmates in Arizona would be interested to learn that the proper standard of care for my hepatitis C is the same they are entitled to legally as ADOC can not have a different standard for individual prisoners. That’s be preferential care, which is illegal.
With the money, I’ve decided to use some to help a couple of good friends and to invest in my future. I’ll finally have a stable foundation to start over with.
I think Shane deserves at least an “Attaboy!” for pulling this off.
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Shaun P. Attwood