Inmate claims medical staff botched several procedures

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Dec. 21, 2010, 11:45am

GALVESTON - An inmate at the Larry Gist Unit in Beaumont claims he underwent a number of medical procedures six years ago which caused him health problems, recent court documents say.

Arnold Horton is suing the University of Texas Medical Branch, John Sealy Hospital, resident surgeon Dr. Jeannette Liu and other unnamed physicians and staffers for $2.5 million over three corrective surgeries in 2004 he claims inflicted immobility, chronic headaches and muscle spasms upon him.

The suit was filed Dec. 14 in Galveston County Court at Law No. 1.

Horton's first two surgeries came in the summer of 2004 after he complained about left side torticolis and spinal tinosis to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice medical staff. Successive operations performed by Liu and a team of doctors at UTMB took a toll on the plaintiff's health, the original complaint argues.

Horton points out that the procedure to correct the spinal tinosis, which was performed after the one to solve the left side torticolis, was a blunder on the defendants' part, adding a patch was unnecessarily embedded into the back of his skull.

The complainant claims he experienced some fluid leakage from the back of his head as well as nausea and difficulty urinating upon his return to unit of assignment.

Pinpointing the ailments to the patch, employees at the prison infirmary had Horton transported to Galveston for supposedly the last of the corrective operations that fall.

The suit ultimately explains that the plaintiff caught a staph infection as a result of the surgical removal. Every antibiotic he took failed so he was put on an IV until early 2005, it states.

Horton is representing himself.

Galveston County Court at Law No. 1 Judge Mary Nell Crapitto is presiding over the case.

Cause No. 64,292

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