A former Allegheny County Jail inmate has filed a lawsuit against Allegheny County and some of its prison staff after alleging that a lack of proper treatment led him to demand the amputation of his part of his leg behind bars.
The more than 40-page case was filed in federal court.
A lawyer speaking on behalf of Clayton McCray said before and after photos of McCray’s leg captured the continued neglect inside the prison.
Jaclyn Kurin of the Abolitionist Law Center says the amputation happened when McCray was 26 and had been in the facility for just over a year.
Kurin says McCray had previously served time in state correctional facilities in Fayette and Mercer counties.
These two places, she said, provided the necessary care and treatment.
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The problems and lack of treatment didn’t begin until he was incarcerated in the Allegheny County Jail.
“They knew they weren’t providing that care, and worse, they knew the harm it was going to cause Mr. McCray,” Kurin said.
Kurin says McCray was being held until his trial and he came to jail with a precondition.
He was shot in the spine in 2011 and as a result his foot was dragging because he lost feeling.
After a few months, an ulcer formed on her heel.
The lawsuit alleges that the Allegheny County Jail and medical authorities failed to properly treat the injury.
They did not give McCray a handicap accessible cell, took away his orthopedic shoes, cane, wheelchair and crutches, forcing him to put weight on the wrong foot.
“He was in so much pain that he couldn’t get his meals back, he couldn’t have leisure. He couldn’t shower,” Kurin said.
Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that officials changed the wound with dirty dressings and never gave him a full dose of antibiotics to properly treat his infection, resulting in hospitalization and further illness.
Allegheny County General Counsel Bethany Hallam was previously incarcerated in the Allegheny County Jail.
She calls for immediate reform and investigations.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the only place we go from here is to ask the Department of Justice, the Attorney General’s office, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to step in and investigate. . They need to file an independent investigation,” Hallam said.
McCray seeks damages from Allegheny County and jail staff.
An Allegheny County spokesperson told Channel 11 that “we don’t comment on lawsuits as a matter of principle.”