The Broward sheriff and jail doctors could be found in contempt of court if they don’t get medical treatment for an inmate who has cancer and hepatitis C.
The inmate, Timothy Ogris, 50, told a judge Monday that he has not received treatment ordered by the court last month.
Broward Circuit Judge Mark Speiser ordered July 10 that the jail and its medical services provider, Armor Correctional Health Services, get treatment for Ogris or, within 72 hours, explain in writing why they refused.
By the end of the month, Ogris was still complaining that he had not been treated, said his lawyer, Greg Ross.
Speiser called attorneys for Armor and the Broward Sheriff’s Office to his courtroom Monday to address Ogris’ claims, implicitly threatening to hold the agencies in contempt. But the judge said Monday that he has no desire to resort to a contempt ruling.
“I’m not here to ‘get’ BSO or Armor,” the judge said. “I’m here to make sure Mr. Ogris gets the treatment he needs.”
A last year found that Armor has left severely mentally ill inmates unmedicated and malnourished despite having the authority to help them. A review of thousands of pages of court, medical and jail records also showed that seven Broward inmates since 2010 killed themselves or suffered dramatic weight loss while they were held alone in cells, despite longstanding concerns about the impact of isolation on people with mental illnesses.
The company was then accused in a 2016 lawsuit of . The company is paid $25 million annually and is required to pay up to $50,000 for an inmate’s care outside the jail’s facilities. The lawsuit accused the company of refusing to send inmates for required treatment resulting in at least six deaths.
The lawsuit is pending, and Armor has indicated it will “aggressively” defend itself against the allegations, a spokeswoman said in December.
The hearing Monday ended with Armor vowing to demonstrate that Ogris is receiving treatment.
“Armor’s patient is receiving the appropriate level of care,” said spokeswoman Yeleny Suarez. “The company cannot discuss specific health care matters unless the patient wants to sign a release of information.”
The next hearing on the issue is scheduled for Aug. 28.
Ogris was arrested in December 2014, accused of breaking into the laundry room of an apartment building to steal money from a coin operated machine. Because he had multiple previous felony convictions, he is facing a sentence of up to 30 years in prison if he is convicted, his lawyer said.
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