Ca. Inmate Family Will Sue Over Dental Death


The family of a California inmate who died after he had a tooth pulled are suing the state. The Los Angeles Times reports that relatives of Anthony Shumake, 41, said they would file a wrongful-death lawsuit because a medical pathologist’s report showed that he died of complications from the extraction. Shumake’s relatives said other inmates told them that they had tried to get medical help for Shumake in the days after the dental work, as his neck turned red and swollen and he complained of continuing pain. Those requests, they said, went unheeded at Solano State Prison in Vacaville.

The Shumake family traveled to Sacramento for a hearing that examined health care in the $6-billion state correctional system. Reports from the California Medical Board show that one in five prison physicians had a blemished record or had been sued. “We know we have many challenges in our efforts to provide quality health care,” Corrections Director Jeanne Woodford testified. “We want to fix what this committee has called a broken system … and become known as a state that uses the best practices in all aspects of its healthcare system.”


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