The Richmond Register

October 8, 2013

Former inmate claims he was denied dialysis at jail

By Sarah Hogsed
Special to the Register

RICHMOND — A former inmate at the Madison County Detention Center has sued the jailer, along with the facility’s medical staff, claiming he was denied dialysis treatment while incarcerated.

Jailer Doug Thomas has responded to the suit and denied he acted negligently in his care of 54-year-old Donny Marcum, who resides in Jackson County.

Marcum was arrested Sept. 13, 2012, and was later indicted on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, first-degree possession of a controlled substance and first-degree persistent felony offender.

He is set for trial Nov. 4 and faces the possibility of 20 to 50 years, or life, in prison on the manufacturing charge.

Marcum alleged in his civil complaint that he told jail employees he receives dialysis three days a week at the Richmond Dialysis Clinic.

The jail’s nurse, Jude Patrick Maus, was given this information, which he reported to the facility’s doctor, Dr. Ronald J. Everson, according to the lawsuit.

Maus and Everson also are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

During his weeklong incarceration, Marcum said his legs swelled and he developed elevated blood pressure. Everson reportedly prescribed some medication to lower Marcum’s blood pressure.

The doctor also “advised he should lay down,” and the nurse should “ice” Marcum’s legs to reduce swelling, according the lawsuit.

On Sept. 19, 2012, “(Marcum) was taken by police or members of the Jail’s staff to Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical center where he was found to be in end-stage renal failure, was unresponsive and was in emergent need of dialysis,” Marcum’s complaint stated.

The online Madison County Detention Center jail log shows that Marcum was released that day and has not returned to the facility.

Marcum is asking for damages related to his past and future physical and mental pain and suffering, along with his medical treatment costs. He also is asking the court to award punitive damages.

While Thomas acknowledged in his Sept. 30 response that Marcum was transported to the hospital Sept. 19, 2012, “the Plaintiff’s damages, if any, were directly and proximately caused by the Plaintiff’s negligent and/or intentional actions, or action or inaction of third parties not under the control of Jailer Thomas.”

Thomas additionally defended his actions by stating they were taken in the scope of his official duties in good faith, without malice.

Thomas also claimed several types of immunity from the lawsuit’s allegations, including governmental, official and qualified immunity.

Everson and Maus have not yet responded to Marcum’s complaint. No court date has been set in the case, which has been assigned to Madison Circuit Judge William G. Clouse.

Marcum is represented in the civil case by Gregory A. Belzley of Belzley Bathurst Attorneys, Prospect. Thomas’s attorney is D. Barry Stilz of Kinkead & Stilz, Lexington.

Thomas did not return calls Tuesday from the Register seeking more information.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.