A former Indiana Department of Correction inmate filed suit today for the department's alleged indifference to cancer he developed while serving time.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Indianapolis on behalf of Phillip "Andy" Springer and assigned to Judge David F. Hamilton, seeks money damages against governmental entities, correctional authorities and correctional facility medical providers, including the Putnam County Jail and Putnamville Correctional Facility, for their alleged indifference to Mr. Springer's serious medical needs which arose while incarcerated, leaving him paralyzed and terminal when his cancer progressed too far without treatment and became inoperable.
"This is one of the worst examples of negligence and deliberate indifference to an inmate's serious medical needs that I have seen in a very long time," said Richard A. Waples, attorney for Springer. "A young man of 26 when he went in, and facing alcohol-related sentences, Springer left prison one and a half years later with only three to 14 months life expectancy. His repeated requests to be medically examined for a lump on his back were repeatedly ignored by correctional authorities and medical providers until Springer could no longer walk. He, along with his family, made repeated and frequent requests for medical care, but he lost the chance to get life-saving treatment. Now he will pay for their indifference with his life."
Andy Springer, now 28, lives with his parents in rural Montgomery County. His cancer has rendered him a paraplegic and he relies on his parents for round-the-clock care.
"Doctors tell Andy he has eight months at the most. What's compounding the tragedy is that he will leave a little 5-year-old daughter," said Waples, "but he is trying to stay positive for his daughter."