A Texas inmate who was sentenced to spend six months in jail for a drug conviction in 2016 has sued the state's prison system after he contracted a flesh-eating bacteria.
Contracted Flesh-Eating MRSA Infected In Jail
Harold Millican filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and the warden of Gist State Jail over claims that he was denied immediate treatment for a flesh-eating infection he contracted while in jail.
He said he that he suffered from cruel and unusual punishment when prison staff allowed his wound to grow worse despite his pleas. The infection left him with permanent disfigurement and disability.
The 37-year-old claims that in 2016, he fell while at a work assignment and hurt his arm. The wound did not heal properly, and he developed methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, which is resistant to many antibiotics.
Drug-resistant staph infections such as this are known to cause a potentially deadly flesh-eating disease known as necrotizing fasciitis.
Millican and his mother told the prison staff about his condition but instead of taking him for an outside treatment, he was sent to the Beaumont prison's infirmary for the infection because no one was available to transport him to a hospital.
Flesh-Eating Bacteria Gnawed Through Muscle Tissues
The abscesses eventually turned yellow and green and gave off a foul odor as the infection ate through his skin. It was not until about a week later when the infection on Millican's arm and chest caused him to go into shock and pass out that he was hospitalized.
Millican claims he was forced to go through multiple surgeries to control the infection. Graphic photos shared by Millican's attorney Allie Booker show a wound in Millican's right arm stretching from the elbow to just below the wrist.
"They sat up there and watched him suffer," Booker said. "How can you allow someone to go through that?"
By the time Millican was given adequate treatment, the bacteria already ate through the muscle tissues on his arm and chest, which left him permanently handicapped and disfigured.
Lawsuit Seeks $200,000
Millican, who is set for release in August 2019, is seeking at least $200,000. He is also asking for the Texas prison system to step up their trainings so staff can ensure adequate medical treatments of inmates in the future.