Utah prison settles suit after inmate missed dialysis, died

AP News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2015 8:06 PM
Utah prison settles suit after inmate missed dialysis, died

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah State Prison settled a wrongful death lawsuit involving an inmate who died after a dialysis provider didn't show up to give him treatment for two days, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

Inmate Ramon C. Estrada, 62, had been in prison since 2005 on a rape conviction. He died less than three weeks before he was set to be paroled.

Lawyers for the state and the family of Estrada declined to discuss details of the settlement, citing a confidentiality agreement.

Alyson McAllister, a lawyer for Estrada's son, said it has helped bring the family closure.

"They are happy to have some answers," she said, pointing to a prison investigation that led to the firing of two workers and the discipline of three more as well as policy changes to prevent a similar situation from happening again.

The prison also released Estrada's remains so the family could hold funeral services, McAllister said.

Prison officials didn't acknowledge legal responsibility for Estrada's death.

Utah attorney general's office spokeswoman Camille Anderson said officials are happy the case has been resolved and wanted to publicly express sincere condolences to the family.

Estrada died of an apparent heart attack related to kidney failure on April 5.

The family is still suing the provider, a University of Utah clinic.

Estrada's son, Jose Estrada, of Edcouch, Texas, alleges that staff at Sandy-based South Valley Dialysis, a University of Utah medical clinic, acted with reckless disregard when technicians switched shifts and one forgot about the prison appointments.

University of Utah Health Care spokeswoman Kathy Wilets said in April that the university deeply regretted the mistake and would take the necessary steps to ensure a scheduling mix-up would not happen again.

The two technicians were disciplined but not fired, she has said. Wilets declined to comment Tuesday.

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This story has been corrected to show Ramon C. Estrada died on April 5, not April 19.