His death has now led to a lawsuit against Hutchinson Correctional Facility’s private health-care provider of improperly dismissing an inmate’s symptoms. The lawsuit names the prison’s health care provider as well as 14 doctors and nurses who were responsible for his care and treatment. As a direct result of the doctor’s inaction the lawsuit claims that Davis suffered “a staggeringly, slow, physically and mentally excruciating death.” The lawsuit was filed by his mother.
Davis died on April 13, 2017. It was in December of 2016 that records indicate he told prison personnel that “it feels like something is eating my brain.” In the days prior to his death, he began to act erratically. He was moved to an isolation cell and would spend hours moving items into stacks and then taking them down. He drank his own urine from a urinal. And all of this was caught on camera that monitored his cell. An MRI revealed a large fungal infection that has spread throughout his brain. Later scans also indicated that the upper part of Davis’ brain had become so swollen that it was forced down to the lower part. This seems to be one of many recent lawsuits where large correctional health-care providers have allegedly failed to meet the basic medical needs of inmates. A number of these instances have led to inmate deaths.
Interestingly, the Hutchinson facility is not named in the lawsuit. Only the doctors, nurses, and the health care provider are named. Davis was in prison serving a lengthy 53-year sentence for an attempted murder, but that still does not absolve the medical professionals from the duty of properly caring for their patients who are inmates at the prison. You still have basic rights even if you are incarcerated. Records indicate that Davis complained of headaches, back pain, and numbness numerous times over the past year. By the spring of 2017 he had lost his ability to walk and his speech was slurred. His hands had become stuff and his arms would shake without control. In his final days, he was unable to control his bodily functions.
The lawsuit further alleges that medical staff dismissed these symptoms as phony, even though he had lost an incredible amount of weight in only a few months. His erratic behavior should also have been a sign that something was clearly wrong. Kansas Department of Corrections declined to comment on the lawsuit. The health care provider has already paid out millions of dollars in 2015 and 2016 based on improper treatment of inmates.
By the time Davis received a CT scan to identify the extent of the swelling, his brain was dead. Doctors took him off of life support just two days later. After his death, an autopsy showed that yeast that causes fungal infection was found in his cerebral cortex. As if Mr. Davis did not suffer enough, the autopsy also indicated that the infection had spread to his lungs, kidney, and liver.