Lawsuits settled over Madison County inmate deaths

The Madison County Sheriff's Office and its former jail healthcare provider reached a resolution.

Posted: Jun 26, 2019 7:19 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2019 7:25 PM

The Madison County Sheriff's Office and Advanced Correctional Healthcare (ACH), the former jail healthcare provider, reached a resolution that was approved Wednesday by the Madison County Commission. 

The resolution states ACH will pay the commission $400,000 as part of the county's legal fees for multiple lawsuits the two parties were involved in. It also clears the sheriff's office of any future lawsuits the two could be involved in. The previous lawsuits accuse the jail of not providing basic healthcare to inmates. 

The Madison County Sheriff's Office tells WAAY 31 ACH treated Madison County inmates for years. However, in 2015, the contract was terminated, partially because they faced multiple lawsuits. The most recent one, filed in 2016, reads, "all three inmates died even though they had been seen by ACH personnel. All three inmates died when ACH and Madison County Jail personnel refused to send them to the hospital."

Officials within the sheriff's office say ACH and them are still defendants in one last lawsuit. However, now, ACH is taking responsibility and reimbursing the legal fees. 

WAAY 31 ran into Paris Richardson, who was released from the Madison County Jail on Wednesday. Court records show he's been in and out of the jail since 2016. 

"I feel like both parties should take responsibility," Richardson said, after hearing of the resolution. 

The sheriff's office says otherwise, as they hired ACH to oversee and provide the necessary care for inmates. It's something Richardson says shouldn't be less important, because someone is behind bars.

"Everybody is a human being. Just because you make a mistake, it doesn't make you a monster because you are in jail," he said. 

WAAY 31 is still trying to uncover why ACH all of sudden has agreed to the resolution that reimburses the sheriff's office with their legal fees and clears them of any future lawsuits involving the two. We have reached out to the company and are waiting to hear back. 

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