Ex-inmate sues Virginia jail for $10M after amputation

Around the South
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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A former inmate of the Hampton Roads Regional Jail is suing the jail for $10 million.

“Even though he is out of jail he has been permanently affected,” said attorney Michael Olson.

Eugene Costine had foot surgery back in 2014.

The wound was still healing when he was arrested in October 2016, and charged with arson.

Costine spent some time in the Newport News City Jail before he was transferred to Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth, where he had surgery to clear out an infection. 

He was then transferred to HRRJ. Costine said things only got worse.

“He wasn’t receiving the level of care necessary to keep his wounds from becoming infected again,” Olson added.

A lawsuit filed in Norfolk’s federal courthouse claims jail staff there did not give Costine the proper medical care that he needed.

According to the lawsuit,  that included long gaps between bandages, which caused his wounds not to heal as expected.

“Sometimes he was given the supplies himself to try to take care of the wounds,” Olson said.   

In June 2017, Costine developed a fever of 104 degrees and was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. There, he was diagnosed with sepsis and ultimately had another infection in his foot.

Doctors were forced to amputate his  left foot up to his mid-calf.

The lawsuit says Costine was subjected to great pain and suffering — as well as the loss of his left foot — as a direct result of negligence.

“We think given his age it would be reasonable compensation for their negligence,” Olson said. 

The superintendent at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail says he has not seen the lawsuit yet and if he had, he could not comment.

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