We represent a resident of Erie County who is suing several officers and staff members of the Erie County Holding Center for a lack of attention to his medical needs, which left him in a diabetic coma for three days. Deliberate indifference by the state to the serious medical needs of an inmate is a federal civil rights violation.
Our client was taken into custody by the Erie County Sheriff’s Department in April of 2005 for a petty crime. At that time, the plaintiff told the arresting officer that he was an insulin dependant diabetic. Despite repeating his request for medical attention during his detention, the plaintiff was given neither a proper diet nor proper medication for two days. It was not until he was found in his cell “falling into the walls” that his deteriorating medical condition was recognized. He was then transported by ambulance to ECMC where he was admitted and diagnosed as being in a diabetic coma. He remained hospitalized for three days.
Erie County has long been on notice that overcrowding has created unsanitary and unsafe conditions in the Holding Center, but officials have been slow to respond. Their indifference has left detainees in deplorable conditions. It is hoped that this plaintiff’s cause of action may serve as a catalyst, prompting the changes necessary to protect the rights of the detainees at the Erie County Holding Center to be treated humanely.