Man sues after falling from top bunk in jail, breaking hip - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Man sues after falling from top bunk in jail, breaking hip

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - UPDATE:

 A former Silverdale inmate has filed a $5 million lawsuit after falling off his bunk bed and breaking his hip at the facility.
Despite numerous calls for help, the lawsuit claims the man lay face-down on the floor of his cell for nine hours before anyone called an ambulance.

Brian Mosiniak, 49, now has a permanent disability. One leg is shorter than other, he can't work anymore, and has mounting medical bills.

That's why Mosiniak is suing Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and Hamilton County, who oversees Silverdale. Mosiniak alleges it's all because of the way he was treated while he was behind bars.

"This isn't Pol Pot Cambodia, and this certainly isn't ISIS or ISIL, nothing like that. We're supposed to treat our citizens who are arrested differently," said Robin Flores, Mosiniak's attorney.

Flores' client was serving time in Silverdale correction facility on a child support warrant out of Missouri. Doctors ordered Mosiniak to sleep on a bottom bunk due to prescription medications, but claims workers forced him to move to the top.

"Sure enough, he fell onto the concrete flooring. That's bad enough," Flores said.

Mosiniak lay on the floor for nine hours before getting medical attention. The lawsuit states employees said he was "faking it" and even served breakfast to him on the floor.

But doctors at Erlanger said he fractured his hip and needed surgery. When he returned to the facility, he was assigned to a cell that wasn't handicap accessible for three days.

"He can't toilet, he can't have a bowel movement, can't shower, can't get up," said Flores, describing how his client was limited to his bed.

"All of their (inmates') rights should be respected," said Jared Story of Concerned Citizens for Justice.

"They should have no trouble receiving any kind of medical care," Story said.

"Silverdale is no stranger to lawsuits and litigation," said personal injury lawyer Gary Massey, who has filed several lawsuits involving Silverdale in the past. He represents an inmate who contracted severe frostbite from conditions inside the jail during the winter.

"Prisons, jails, and detention facilities of every type are required to provide a certain minimum level of care to people who have physical problems," said Massey.

"You treat them humanely," Flores said. "That means taking care of their needs while they are solely reliant upon you."

Hamilton County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said he received the lawsuit on Tuesday, but isn't making any further comments.

Jonathan Burns, CCA Senior Manager of Public Affairs released the following statement to Channel 3 on Wednesday evening:

"While we cannot comment on the specifics of an ongoing case, CCA is firmly committed to the health and safety of every inmate in our care. CCA facilities in Tennessee are staffed by a full-time compliment of health care professionals, including nurses and physicians, who are charged with safeguarding inmate health," Burns said. 


"Further, correctional officers and other facility staff receive detailed training covering inmate first aid and response procedures in the event of an inmate injury or health concern."

PREVIOUS STORY:

A 49-year-old man filed a 17-page lawsuit Tuesday seeking $5 million in compensatory damages from Hamilton County and Corrections Corporations of America after he fractured his hip as an inmate at the facility. Brian Thomas Mosiniak, who was arrested last year on warrants for child support out of St. Charles, Missouri, is disabled and required sleeping on a bottom bunk while he was housed Silverdale Detention Facility.

RELATED LINK | CCA LAWSUIT (PDF)

The lawsuit alleges that Mosiniak was told to sleep on the top bunk to make room for gang members and given a plastic box to help him get to his bed.

On Oct. 6, 2013 Mosiniak fell five feet from the top bunk and suffered a fractured hip. Despite numerous calls for help, he was not transported by ambulance until nine hours later. 

"The injuries my client sustained are some of the worst any client of mine has suffered. It appears that the corporate bottom line was the larger concern here and not my client's welfare," said Robin Flores, an attorney who is representing Mosiniak.

Before an ambulance was called, he was left face down on the floor.  A CCA employee fed him breakfast in that position, according to the lawsuit.

Surgery was performed on Mosiniak requiring screws to repair the fracture. A few days later he was discharged from Erlanger hospital and returned to Silverdale. He was unable to care for himself in the cell that he was placed in.

“Plaintiff could not lift himself onto a toilet, shower or brush his teeth,” the lawsuit states.

Mosiniak re-injured his hip in December 2013 when he had to step down from a transport van to make a court appearance. Nothing was done to accommodate his disability, according to the lawsuit. Mosiniak later had to undergo another surgery to repair damage.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Hamilton County Circuit Court, is also asking for money to cover discretionary costs.

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