Attorneys filed a lawsuit in Denver against the U.S. claiming medical negligence
A federal inmate at the Aurora Detention Facility, who was accused of faking an illness, was suffering from an infection that has now caused an amputation and a warning that he doesn’t have long to live.
“Ronnie Keyes is dying,” according to the lawsuit filed by Denver attorneys David Lane and Liana Orshan.
The attorneys filed the federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver on behalf of Keyes against the United States of America claiming medical negligence.
Keyes seeks compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief including appropriate health care.
The lawsuit says defendants failed to take Keyes’ complaints seriously even though they knew he was paralyzed in a 2006 car crash.
“It’s horrible. It’s horrible,” Lane said Wednesday. “This is the worst medical care I have seen in my life.”
At the time he contracted the infection, Keyes was facing a new federal charge for being a felon in possession of a gun. That charge has since been dismissed. He previously had been convicted of two felonies, each of which disqualify him from gun ownership. In 2009, he was convicted of second-degree assault and in 2011, he was convicted of assault by drugging the victim.
The Aurora detention facility only has one doctor for 600 detainees and that physician claimed that all of “Mr. Keyes’ complaints were lies and a ploy to get out of detention,” the lawsuit says. Authorities failed to provide an appropriate air mattress to prevent infection as Keyes requested, the lawsuit says.
When he developed pressure sores, the prison failed to treat them even though one sore became a “complete hole.” His sores bled and smelled terrible. A sore on his ankle “became a crater” and the tissue inside was black, the lawsuit said. Keyes wrote numerous grievances about his condition that were rejected by prison officials.
It wasn’t until his condition deteriorated further that, the GEO Group Inc., which owns and runs the prison at 3130 N. Oakland St., took him to the hospital to be treated for an infection of his pelvis. Keyes was diagnosed with sepsis, a blood infection, and osteomyelitis, a bone infection.
“Doctors at the hospital were forced to amputate his leg and try to save his life…However, doctors have informed him that there is almost no way to cure the infection at this point, and he is not likely to live for much longer,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit says that the U.S. Marshal’s office in Denver had a responsibility to evaluate Keyes’ needs, but failed to do so.