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Litigation Medical Malpractice

Institutional Deliberate Indifference

When a Prisoner’s Health Care Is Botched, the Providers’ Employer May Be on the Hook

Prisoner Eighth Amendment allegations of cruel and unusual punishment due to deliberate indifference to their medical needs are common; most of them go nowhere. Once in a while, though, the care provided to a prisoner is so substandard that the case actually hurdles the defendants' motion for summary judgment and makes it to trial.

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Prisoner Eighth Amendment allegations of cruel and unusual punishment due to deliberate indifference to their medical needs are common; most of them go nowhere. No matter the incompetence of the medical care provided, it is hard for a prisoner to prove (particularly when appearing pro se, as is common) that a care provider acted with intentional knowing recklessness as to his health, as this requires a showing of the provider’s actual knowledge of a serious risk. Generally, any prison-setting medical care mistake or issue must be addressed in state court as a regular medical malpractice claim, not as a violation of a prisoner’s Constitutional rights.

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