Inmate's Untreated Broken Jaw Triggers Federal Lawsuit Against Southwest Virginia Regional Jail
Written by: Sam Orlando
BRISTOL, VA - A federal lawsuit has been filed against the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail (SVRJ) by inmate Jerry Alan Wyatt, Jr., from Bristol, alleging severe medical neglect. Wyatt claims his jaw was broken on March 8, 2023, and despite multiple pleas and formal grievances for medical attention, he has yet to receive any treatment as of July 20, 2023.
Wyatt is currently serving time for drug convictions he received in the Circuit Court for the City of Bristol, and he brought his lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The case is set to be heard by Chief Judge Michael Urbanski and Magistrate Judge Joel Hoppe.
According to Wyatt's claim, he has been living with a potentially broken jaw for over four months without medical intervention, a situation that not only results in constant pain but could potentially lead to serious long-term health issues. His repeated requests for treatment, in the form of grievances and appeals, have all gone unanswered, allegedly illustrating a pattern of medical neglect within the facility.
When Breaking Through News reached out to the SVRJ for a comment on Wyatt's allegations, multiple attempts to find a representative for a response were unsuccessful, with calls being repeatedly transferred and ultimately unaddressed.
Wyatt's case shines a spotlight on issues of medical neglect in prisons, an often-overlooked area of prisoners' rights. A broken jaw, if left untreated, can lead to serious health complications such as chronic pain, infection, and difficulties with eating and speaking.
This lawsuit marks a significant development in the discourse surrounding inmate healthcare, specifically within the SVRJ. It underscores the necessity for immediate reform and accountability within prison healthcare systems. It also underscores the legal system's responsibility to ensure that even those serving time are not denied their fundamental human rights. And maybe, if nothing else, it reminds us that in the United States of America anyone, even a state prisoner, has the right to bring his own claims before a Federal Court for review.
Breaking Through News will continue to track this lawsuit and the response of the SVRJ, seeking to bring the truth to light about the conditions within the facility and the handling of Wyatt's allegations.