After being left alone in solitary and denied medical treatment for a painful erection lasting six days, a New York man required surgery that left him impotent.
Now the city will be paying out a quarter of a million dollars for the negligence.
Rodney Cotton, 51, was detained in the Manhattan Detention Complex aka the Tombs in 2011 for a probation violation. He had been imprisoned for three weeks when he began to suffer from a priapism, a painful, constant erection, and side effect of the drug Risperdal, which he was taking to treat depression.
Cotton was then left alone, suffering from horrendous pain, in solitary confinement instead of being brought to the hospital to treat his medical emergency. Four hours into the priapism, which happened to occur on the Fourth of July, Cotton asked to go to the clinic to seek help from the jail doctors, he was then informed by a guard that he would have to wait until after the holiday.
Eventually, he lied and claimed he was having chest pains so that he would be permitted to go to the clinic.
When he finally made it to the clinic, he was given ice packs and Tylenol by Dr. Craig Metroka and was not sent to the hospital. The following day, Dr. Landis Barnes, a second jail house doctor, gave him the same treatment which failed the day before.
This failure to provide adequate medical attention continued on for six long days, all while locked in solitary confinement.
The healthcare provided to New York City inmates came from a for-profit company called Corizon. Amid much public scrutiny, the city decided last month not to renew their contract which expires in January. The responsibility for health care will now be provided by the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation.
“We have an essential responsibility to provide every individual in our city’s care with high-quality health services — and our inmates are no different,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement regarding the decision. “This transfer to HHC will give our administration direct control and oversight of our inmates’ health services — furthering our goal of improving the quality and continuity of healthcare for every inmate in city custody.”
The Department of Investigation had concluded that Corizon was responsible for significant breakdowns in medical services for inmates, especially when dealing with the mentally ill, leading to a string of deaths last year due to poor medical treatment.
On Monday, Cotton settled with the city for $750,000, on the day the trial regarding the incident was set to begin.