Minneapolis Man Awarded $12.2M Settlement After Jail Personnel Failed To Properly Treat Medical Issues
A Minneapolis man has been awarded a $12.2 million settlement by Scott County after an arrest for suspicion of drunk driving led him to be hospitalized, suffer a heart attack, endure painful skin lesions, and have his hands amputated.
The settlement will help the victim, Terrance Dwayne Winborn, pay for medical bills incurred from his injuries and take care of his future needs.
Winborn was arrested on Aug. 27, 2020, while driving in the Minneapolis suburb of Shakopee with a blood alcohol level of 0.13%, significantly larger than that of the legal limit of 0.08%. After being booked into jail and allowed to sober up, Winborn grew sick and began vomiting.
A nurse at the Scott County jail noted that the man was unable to stand when she did her daily COVID-19 check and that his right hand was “extremely swollen”; however, officials failed to get him imperative medical treatment. For 39 hours, a bacterial infection wreaked havoc on Winborn’s body, resulting in him spending four months in area hospitals.
By the time the Minneapolis native was seen by medical professionals, a flesh-eating bacteria known as necrotizing fasciitis had settled into his bodily tissue, resulting in an emergency amputation of both his hands and one of his forearms.
“I don’t sleep because every time I dream, I dream I have my hands, you know. And I wake up, they’re gone again,” Winborn said. “I’d rather have my hands than anything.”
Adjusting to life without two of his limbs will require ongoing medical care, a reality that Winborn’s attorney helped the county understand by showing a video of the man attempting to make it through daily tasks like eating. In the video, Winborn revealed that he only eats two meals per day due to the toll it takes on his body to attempt a third.
“That deliberate indifference allowed a bacterial infection to run rampant within his body, leading to a heart attack … and a host of other devastating and permanent injuries,” attorney Katie Bennett, who represented Winborn, said. Jail officials also failed to preserve videos of the man’s experience after 90 days, resulting in lost evidence of Winborn’s injuries before litigation.