Inmate sues for alleged negligent medical treatment

David Yates Sep. 25, 2007, 9:52am

Barbara Gardner

While incarcerated and awaiting trial at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility, Ronnie Tejada received medical treatment.

Tejada claims negligent medical care caused him to suffer injury and is suing Dr. Virgilio Gernale, Naphcare Inc. and Naphcare's administrator, Dyni Brookshire. Tejada's two minor children are also plaintiffs in the suit.

According to plaintiffs' original petition, filed Sept. 24 in the Jefferson County District Court, from November 2004 through Oct. 5, 2005, Tejada received negligent treatment from the defendants.

The suit does not go into detail about Tejada's time at the jail, but does list the following acts of alleged negligence:
- Negligently failing to test, treat, or follow-up for Ronnie Tejada's diabetes;
- Failure to diagnose, analyze, treat, or follow-up on Ronnie Tejada's head injuries while detained in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility;
- Failure to monitor, inspect, observe, or treat Ronnie Tejada's weakened, dehydrated, malnourished condition in the last 11 days before he was taken to the emergency room on October 5, 2005;
- And other acts to be shown with more particularity as discovery progresses.

"Defendants may have been negligent in other respects in addition to the above, and Plaintiffs reserve the right to amend their pleadings to conform to the evidence," the suit said. "Plaintiffs would show that Defendants failed to exercise that degree of care as would have been exercised by reasonably prudent medical providers under the same or similar circumstances in their failure to test, diagnose, treat, and follow-up on the serious medical condition exhibited by Plaintiff."

Tejada is suing for punitive and exemplary damages, plus past and future physical pain, disfigurement, mental anguish, impairment, medical expenses and lost wages.

His children are suing for pecuniary loss, loss of counsel and loss off of positive benefits flowing from love provided by their father, plus mental anguish.

The plaintiffs are requesting a trial by jury and are represented by Barbara Gardner, attorney for the Tucker, Vaughan, Gardner & Barnes law firm.

According to the firm's Web site, Gardner is primarily a trial lawyer, having tried numerous cases to juries as well as judges in state and federal courts She represents both employees and employers in employment matters, and she also represents injured victims in personal injury claims.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, will preside over the case.

Case No. E180-269

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