Lawsuit claims Florida inmates are denied surgeries

Three inmates are suing the Florida Department of Corrections and medical contractor Corizon, alleging Corizon refused to provide medically necessary surgical procedures in an effort to keep costs down. The class-action lawsuit, which cites several other cases of alleged inadequate care, accuses Corizon of violating prisoners’ Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.

Corizon and a second prison system healthcare contractor, Wexford, have faced a flurry of litigation around the country, accusing them of cutting corners on care to save money, sometimes with fatal results.

This latest lawsuit focuses on hernia surgeries. It claims that Tracy Copeland, 48, was repeatedly denied a hernia operation despite two recommendations from a doctor for the procedure, and that Amado Parra, 60, and Archie Green, 43, were also denied surgical evaluation for severely painful hernias that limit their ability to move. All three have had symptoms of groin hernias since 2012 and 2013.

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“What they’re trying to do is maximize their profits as a for-profit medical care provider,” said Randall C. Berg Jr., executive director of the Florida Justice Institute, which filed the suit on behalf of the prisoners. “The unfortunate thing about inmates is if they don’t get surgery by the medical provider, they can’t go elsewhere. There’s no other entity to turn to get the medical care they need.”

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