Million dollar settlement for inmate untreated for stroke, dies - WFLA News Channel 8

Million dollar settlement for Hills. inmate untreated for stroke, later dies

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Allen Hicks in surveillance video at the Hillsborough County Jail after his arrest. Allen Hicks in surveillance video at the Hillsborough County Jail after his arrest.

Allen Daniel Hicks, Sr. was driving along I-275 in Tampa in May 2012 when he suffered a stroke.

But instead of taking him to a hospital, law enforcement took Hicks to jail and he later died.

Passersby called 911 when they saw his car swerving.

The car hit a guardrail three times, the caller said. "This guy's gonna kill himself, okay?" the caller told a 911 dispatcher.

A Sheriff's deputy and Florida Highway Patrol troopers responded and arrested Hicks for failing to follow their commands to get out of his car.

Paramedics recommended he be taken to the hospital for psychiatric observation.

But instead, he was taken to jail.

Jail video shows Hicks, 51, lying on the floor of his cell.

His right arms and legs twitched, and he tried to crawl using the right side of his body.

But it was 36 hours later, when Hicks was unresponsive, that he was finally taken to Tampa General Hospital.

He slipped into a coma and died three months later.

Attorney Paul Rebein represented Hicks' family and said the 911 calls should have saved Hicks' life.

"You should be able to get help from medical personnel and police officers and not be taken to jail, and we feel the highway patrol and EMT should have much better training on recognizing stroke victims," Rebein said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the Miami company that provides medical care to county prisoners has settled with the family.

The sheriff's office paid $200,000, while Armor Correctional Health Services Inc paid $800,000.

There's a lawsuit pending against Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

The sheriff's office also required deputies to go through new training on recognizing stroke systems.

Armor Correctional Health Services would not answer questions but sent this statement.

"Armor Correctional Health Services applies nationally recognized medical guidelines for individual situations, diagnoses and incidents. Due to Federal HIPAA regulations we cannot comment specifically on the inmate's case nor can we comment on the specifics of the settlement matter.

"Armor has nurses around-the-clock at the jail conducting immediate health screenings for each person entering the jail. By policy and procedure, they seek to identify all medical and mental health problems, including acute conditions such as stroke and injury or chronic illnesses such as diabetes and schizophrenia. Each patient is then discussed with or referred to a physician in order to establish a treatment plan that serves the best interest and safety of the patient."

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