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Two More Lawsuits Allege Medical Negligence And Inhumane Conditions At Silverdale Detention Center

Two federal lawsuits were filed this month against former Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond and medical staff at the Silverdale Detention Center, alleging medical negligence and inhumane living conditions at the facility.

One claims that an inmate was kept in an overcrowded area in a moldy cell with waterlogged floors and a clogged toilet. Medical staff from other claims did not respond to hundreds of requests for medical assistance for cancer and other ailments. Both lawsuits were filed in the US District Court in Chattanooga.

Hammond, who retired as sheriff on Aug. 31, declined to comment, citing pending litigation, as do the Hamilton County Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office previously said there are 24-hour medical staff available to people housed at the facility, saying that “inmates who become ill or injured are checked by medical staff as needed and if enough cannot be provided.” on-site medical care, they will be transported to an outside medical facility as needed,” and attributed poor conditions at the facility to inmate vandalism.

According to documents obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Quality Correctional Health Care, an Alabama-based medical provider, has been contracted to provide 24-hour health care in Silverdale beginning December 23, 2020, with an annual investment of almost $3 million. budget.

Edgar Goodwin, who filed a lawsuit on his own behalf, claims that medical staff did not respond to his repeated requests, stating that his 100 to 300 medical complaints have yet to be answered.

“To this day, for four months, (I) have still not received medical treatment, for any of my medical conditions, in any way, at any time,” Goodwin wrote in the Jan. 3 lawsuit.

Goodwin has an extensive criminal record, according to the Hamilton County Criminal Court database, including assault on a police officer, escape from a jail or workhouse and aggravated assault.

Goodwin, who is seeking $1 billion in compensation, claims he made several hundred requests to the director of nursing for “stomach pain, pain in the joints of the body, tuberculosis, cancer, anemia, low red blood cell and white blood cell counts.” , extreme weight loss, skin problems.” rashes, groin pain, private part pain, and chills and sweating all day and night,” according to the lawsuit.

He also said that he has been harassed by corrections officers because of his requests to see medical staff, according to the lawsuit.

Similarly, Ervin Lavele Moore, 43, who has been in Silverdale since 2019 on one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault in the 2018 assault of Roger Thomas, claims medical staff he neglected it after an assault. .

Moore, who is being represented by Tullahoma attorney Derek Jordan, claims he was assaulted by four men on April 22, after correctional officers placed him in the wrong housing unit, according to the lawsuit filed on January 6. The lawsuit does not specify an amount of monetary compensation.

“Moore was stabbed in the left eyebrow, causing eye pain, migraines, insomnia, shortness of breath, post-traumatic stress disorder, and memory loss,” the lawsuit states.

After the attack, Moore was placed in a holding cell “where he remained, bleeding, for five hours before being transferred to Erlanger Hospital,” according to the lawsuit.

“When Moore was returned to Silverdale, he was placed in a unit known as the ‘hole,’” the lawsuit says. “The ‘hole’ suffers from notoriously poor living conditions, including a leaking ceiling, clogged toilets, and mold that aggravates Moore’s asthma.”

Moore claims that he has been denied medication to treat his injuries stemming from the assault and asthma. The lawsuit says he continues to suffer from a severe bruise, as well as tissue swelling on the left side of his forehead, migraines, insomnia, persistent eye pain, shortness of breath, paranoia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and memory loss.

Inmates and families have alleged medical malpractice by Silverdale staff in the past. Most recently, three Chattanooga-area families called for the facility to be closed during a panel held Jan. 13 at Eastdale Village Community United Methodist Church. The families claimed that their loved ones died in nearby hospitals as a direct result of medical negligence in Silverdale.

The event came after a Chattanooga attorney requested that his client be transferred from Silverdale to the Tennessee Department of Corrections citing his client’s deteriorating mental health due to the inhumane conditions in which he was housed. The request was denied by a Hamilton County Criminal Court judge on Thursday.

A video first published by the Times Free Press last month shows Harrison Alexander Ellison’s cell in Silverdale with a leaking roof. The video, posted by Ellison’s attorney, Brandy Spurgin-Floyd, also shows used food containers, hanging bedding and water on the floor.

Hamilton County District Attorney Coty Wamp came to the defense of the sheriff’s office at Thursday’s hearing, saying the “jail was big enough to hold all the inmates.” His predecessor, Neal Pinkston, had called Silverdale “one of the most dangerous places to be in our county.”

Contact La Shawn Pagán at lpagan@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476.

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