Shook Wins $8.5 Million Award in Prisoner Medical Negligence Case

Shook obtained an $8.5 million award for a client as the representative of her late brother, a federal detainee at the Phelps County Jail in Rolla, Missouri. The jury returned a verdict against a doctor, nurse and Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc.—the largest health care provider for jails in the U.S.—for a Section 1983 deliberate indifference claim and medical negligence.  

Bilal Hill entered the jail on October 4, 2019. In January 2020, he started complaining of extreme pain in his neck, shoulder and back. His health rapidly deteriorated. He developed hoarseness, a lump on his neck, trouble breathing, worsening pain and lost nearly 30 lbs. in 65 days. All along, the defendants maintained that he simply had a muscle strain. At times, they gave him Tylenol. Other times, including a total of 43 days during his worst suffering, he was prescribed nothing. After suffering for 78 days, he was finally sent for outside care on April 1, 2020, where it was discovered he had terminal lung cancer. Hill was given a compassionate release and spent his remaining days in the care of his sister, Lady Smith. He died on January 14, 2021. 

The Shook trial team included Partners Charlie EblenBrandon GutshallLindsey Heinz and many others assisting.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch featured the trial in Messenger: Federal Jury in St. Louis Awards $8.5 million in Jail Health Care Case.

The case is Hill v Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc., in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division, 4:20-cv-00804-JMB.