Written by: Sam Orlando
ROANOKE, VA - A new lawsuit has been filed against Keen Mountain Correctional Center, adding to the growing list of legal challenges faced by Virginia prisons.
Calvin Tyrone Checks, inmate number 1041143 at Keen Mountain Correctional Center, lodged the complaint on October 12, 2023, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. In his suit, Mr. Checks alleges medical negligence by the prison staff.
Specifically, Checks recounts an incident where he experienced severe breathing difficulties and submitted an emergency grievance. In response, he was informed that his situation did not qualify as an emergency. He further states that after the first incident, he had another episode that compelled him to seek the attention of the correctional officer. When a nurse arrived, rather than providing immediate medical attention, they argued with Checks regarding his past medical visits for chest issues.
To make matters more concerning, Checks indicates that related grievance paperwork mysteriously went missing.
Checks is seeking "positive damage," a term which likely refers to compensatory damages, from the court. He has also expressed a preference for a trial by jury if the case proceeds to that stage.
The defendant named in the suit is Israel D. Hamilton. The nature of Mr. Hamilton's role or actions in the alleged incidents is not specified in the provided documentation.
Keen Mountain Correctional Center, located in Oakwood, Virginia, now faces scrutiny as the details of this case are brought to light. It serves as another example of the challenges and accusations that the state's prison system continually grapples with.
As of now, representatives for Keen Mountain Correctional Center have not released any statements regarding the lawsuit. It remains to be seen how the legal proceedings will unfold and what implications they may have for the larger conversation around inmate rights and healthcare within the prison system.