Diabetic sues Henry Co. jail for 'negligent' care

Posted: 5:20 PM, Jul 26, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-27 02:27:43Z

NEW CASTLE, Ind. -- A 19-year old inmate at the Henry County Jail nearly died because jail staff provided him with incorrect insulin dosages, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court.

Preston Hart, a Type I diabetic, was detained at the jail in April 2016 for a marijuana possession charge.

The lawsuit alleges that, over the course of several days, Henry County Jail staff failed to provide Hart with the correct types and dosages of insulin.

“Physically, I did think I was going to die,” said Hart. “Every time I checked my blood sugar it showed high, in the 500's. A diabetic is supposed to maintain an 80-120.”

Deputies also refused Hart’s request while being arrested to retrieve his insulin from the vehicle before it was impounded, according to the federal lawsuit.

Fellow jail inmates, as well as Hart’s mother, made repeated pleas to the jail to provide Hart with medical care, but were ignored, according to Hart and his attorney, Eric Pavlack.

“I called my mom and my grandma almost every night pleading,” said Hart. “I told them ‘I’m probably going to die in here. This is the last time I’ll talk to you. I love you guys.’”

Hart was finally taken to the hospital where he remained in intensive care for three days, Pavlack said.

“I was having a lot of trouble breathing, it felt like there was a weight on my chest,” said Hart.  “I couldn’t see. My tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth. I couldn’t really speak.”

In the federal lawsuit, Hart alleges his rights were violated and that the jail was negligent.

“I don’t want this to happen to anybody else,” said Hart. “There should be repercussions. They should have to pay for the suffering I went through. I have a lot of money I have to pay now in medical bills.”  

Sheriff Richard A McCorkle told Call 6 Investigates Kara Kenney they are happy with their medical provider, Quality Correctional Care.

“Our medical staff feel confident they did their job,” said Sheriff McCorkle.

Call 6 Investigates reached out to Quality Correctional Care for a response but they have not yet issued a statement.

Hart said he feels lucky to be alive.

“No one deserves to lose their life for going to jail,” said Hart.