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Former DOC inmate files lawsuit

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

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."

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What a tragedy for this family, especially the daughter. We all have made mistakes in our life, so I do not judge you for yours. My heart goes out to this family and the daughter, I am just so sorry for your family. I know no amount of money can take anything back, "if only we could BUY time" but my prayers are with you all. Maybe one day this will save the life of someone else. What a shame this happened!! I just don't know what else to say except that I am truly sorry for Andy, his daughter and his family................

-- Posted by mlbaker22 on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 1:22 PM


-- Posted by victory on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 2:26 PM

Doing the time has nothing to do with not recieving medical treatment when necessary!

-- Posted by GR8T2BME on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 3:10 PM

What heartfelt sympathy you have for people,victory. Hopefully you or none of your family will ever have to go through anything like this.To the family of Andy, I am so sorry this has happened,and please know that not everyone is as heartless as some.

-- Posted by redrose2 on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 6:28 PM

It is too bad Mr. Springer wasn't treated for alcoholism (which is also an illness and treatable) prior to incarceration for his alcohol sentences. If Mr. Springer hadn't been caught by law enforcement it could have cost someone else their life. Where was the family support for rehab prior to incarceration? It also could have saved the parents from this tragedy.

-- Posted by bam on Thu, Feb 28, 2008, at 8:10 PM

It would be interesting to see what the Depratment of Correction has to say abou this case, Being that we only have one side of this story. I would like to here their defense for causing this man's cancer.

-- Posted by hubba bubba on Fri, Feb 29, 2008, at 1:38 PM

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