Lawyers file intent to sue jail medical provider in inmate’s death
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - In a new court filing, lawyers for D’Angelo Brown’s family formally announced their intent to hold Wellpath LLC accountable for its employees’ inactions that they say led to the death of the 28-year-old.
Brown died in December after several months of documented deterioration within the Al Cannon Detention Center’s Behavior Management Unit, according to an initial lawsuit.
The Charleston County Coroner’s Office ruled his death resulted from E. coli sepsis and ruled it a homicide by “gross medical neglect.”
“The recently filed Notice of Intent to Sue against Wellpath is the next step towards full justice on behalf of D’Angelo and his family,” attorney James B. Moore said.
Wellpath is the current contracted medical provider at the jail until June 30.
Dr. Edward C. O’Bryan, a former Vice President Clinical Operations for Wellpath, reviewed the documents in the case and provided an affidavit.
He writes “[i]t is my opinion that D’Angelo Brown’s deterioration and death were proximately caused by the Defendants’ gross deviations from the standard of care.”
O’Bryan found that Wellpath staff failed to conduct a thorough health assessment of Brown, failed to administer medications for mental health issues and failed “to intervene whatsoever to provide any reasonable treatment for Mr. Brown’s declining health” among several conclusions.
That also included staff not intervening to prevent Brown from eating his own feces or providing stabilizing medications after correctional staff reported it was “not advisable to open the flap” on October 22, 2022.
Court documents allege that medical staff failed to transfer Brown to an outside medical facility in an appropriate amount of time.
According to the coroner’s report, it was recommended twice he be hospitalized before his death, the second time just nine days before deputies discovered him unresponsive in his cell.
“The circumstances of his death are currently under investigation by SLED and will likely be investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice. As more information comes to light, I anticipate there will be additional filings against any other entities or individuals who played any part in his suffering and untimely death,” Moore said.
Wellpath did not provide a statement in time for publication.
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