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Wheelchair-Bound Woman Files Lawsuit against Arkansas Prison Authorities for Jail Abuse

An Arkansas wheelchair-bound woman, Candace Paige Lydon, has filed a federal lawsuit against the authorities of the Garland County Detention Center (GCDC) for the jail abuse she suffered during her pretrial detention at the facility. Lydon contends that she was unfairly kept at a GCDC facility for one year without her wheelchair and not given any medical attention as required by her medical condition.

According to the lawsuit, Lydon said she was involved in a car collision with one Mr. Castleberry on August 30, 2015. All parties to the collision sustained injuries, but Lydon was moved to CHI St. Vincent Hospital Emergency Room as a level one trauma patient. She was stabilized and then transferred to the operating theater for surgery for internal injuries and for a tibial fracture.

She was eventually discharged from hospital, but had to use a wheelchair most of the time due to the injuries healing from car collision. Exactly a year later on August 27, 2016, Lydon was seated in her wheelchair in her house when police officers invaded her home to arrest her. She was forcefully removed from her wheelchair and bundled into a police van and then transported to the GCDC where she was booked and placed into custody.

Lydon remained in pretrial detention for more than one year. She said she pleaded with prison authorities and employees to allow her access to her wheelchair or any walking aid during her detention, but her pleas fell on deaf ears. She disclosed that she filed numerous inmate grievance procedure requests for assistance, but GCDC staff and officials all ignored them. Lydon was left to a life of pain, discomfort, and serious agony for over a year while detained.

“For over one year, plaintiff lived in pain and discomfort while being forced to walk on her legs with an untreated tibial fracture which caused her serious medical complications and problems and caused her pain beyond description,” Lydon’s attorney, Justin B. Hurst of the Hurst Law Group, wrote.

Hurst complained that GCDC officials and staff were all aware of Lydon’s condition at the point of her arrest and detention, but they deliberately acted without care, compassion or concerns for her medical needs and condition.

Following her release by the state, Lydon immediately sought medical attention from orthopedic surgeons in Hot Springs and Little Rock in Arkansas. Doctors diagnosed the patient with permanent disabling injuries due to lack of medical care occasioned by prolonged incarceration, attorneys said.

“As an approximate result of the injuries suffered at GCDC, Candace Paige Lydon is now permanently, mentally, and physically disabled,” Hurst stated in the lawsuit. “The defendants, acting under color of state law, failed to protect Candace Paige Lydon after creating the danger to which she was subjected…”

In her lawsuit, Lydon is asking the Western District Court of Arkansas, Hot Springs Division, to prohibit future violations of her constitutional rights, compel the state to provide adequate training and supervision roles to GCDC officials and staff, pay at least $150,000 as compensation for the pain, suffering, mental anguish and permanent injuries she suffered during her detention, as well as pay medical bills and attorney fees incurred following these damaging experiences.

Lydon is demanding for trial by a jury.



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