Penal Institution Expert Witness Evaluates Failure to Treat Inmate Methadone Overdose

Penal Institution Expert WitnessThis case involves the death of the Plaintiff’s brother at a jail in Hawaii. The brother was being treated with methadone for pain resulting from an arm injury a couple of years earlier. At some point, he was overdosed with the methadone, and became unresponsive. Despite pleas by the fellow inmates, the jail staff did nothing. The Plaintiff brought the suit on behalf of his decedent brother. It was alleged that prison medical staff had been grossly negligent in their administration of methadone to the inmate, as well as their failure to adequately monitor the inmate after the methadone was administered.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please explain you experience working in a supervisory capacity in the correctional system.
  • 2. Are you familiar with the precautions that should be taken when an inmate/patient is prescribed methadone for the purposes of pain alleviation?

Expert Witness Response E-040973

I worked as a law enforcement supervisor for over 20 years, and as a Jail Administrator for 10 years. Methadone is a narcotic that should be used under close supervision of a physician, with frequent monitoring. Methadone has several problems that necessitate this supervision. Patients have the potential to build a tolerance to methadone, there is a high potential for abuse, and with that comes the potential for overdose. Many jails have moved to non-narcotic alternatives to reduce this risk. I have a great deal of experience as it relates to the administration and supervision of inmates on methadone, and a result of this nature can only be explained by a deviation from widely accepted guidelines and best practices.

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