Sister of deceased Pennsylvania inmate suspects neglect

We have discussed the serious matter of nursing home abuse and neglect on this wrongful death blog in the past. A recent story reported by The Huffington Post calls the idea of that subject matter to mind; however, the supposed neglect of a now deceased victim is said to have taken place in a Pennsylvania prison rather than in a hospital.

According to reports, a man was sentenced to prison in 1991 for rape and kidnapping, extremely serious convictions. He was supposed to have spent between 28 and 57 years in prison, but he actually died before either of those time periods were reached. Instead, he became ill and died on the first of this year. His sister wonders whether her brother’s passing is a case of wrongful death and she is fighting.

The Huffington Post reports that the coroner informed the sister that her brother’s body was covered in serious bed sores. These kinds of wounds are commonly found in cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. They are often preventable and almost always painful for the victim. Prevention in most cases is as simple as caregivers providing the proper medical attention to a patient, or in this case, the inmate.

The inmate was diagnosed with lung and bone cancer in 2010. He was recovering from a hip surgery, though the sister claims that her brother’s health went downhill following that procedure. She claims that she sensed a strong odor coming from her brother when she visited him, which is often the sign of infection.

She had the coroner take various pictures of her brother’s bedsores and then asked that officials investigate the matter. Investigators thus far have said that there is no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the inmate’s caregivers. The inmate was supposedly more prone to the development of severe bedsores due to his cancer. But the sister isn’t satisfied with that and is reportedly hiring an attorney, potentially to go after the prison facility for negligence and the alleged wrongful death of her brother.


The Huffington Post: “Dennis Austin, Bedsore-Riddled Pennsylvania Prisoner, Died Of Neglect, Sister Says,” David Lohr, Jan. 12, 2012

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