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Inmate Sues State of Hawaii for Malpractice and Wins

March 17th, 2014

A judge has awarded a former Hawaiian prison inmate nearly one million dollars in his medical malpractice lawsuit against the State of Hawaii. The prisoner had received delayed treatment and incorrect, inadequate medication for a painful scrotal infection. The mistake resulted in his eventual castration and additional medical problems.

Originally in prison on drug charges at Halawa Correctional Facility, in 2003 Gregory Slingluff complained to prison officials of experiencing severe pain in his scrotum and requested immediate medical attention but was not given that access upon his urgent request. According to Slingluff he had implored so strongly that he had indicated that he would hang himself due to the extremity of the pain, but was stillnot provided an immediate examination. Once the prison’s attending physician eventually examined him, he was prescribed an incorrect antibiotic at an inadequate dose, and less than a week after his initial complaint of pain his scrotum was grossly enlarged to the size of a small basketball. At that time he was provided with transfer to a local medical center for emergency treatment, but it was too late. Despite undergoing six separate surgeries he required castration.

Upon his release from prison he filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the state of Hawaii, citing multiple damages including the need for multiple skin grafts , subsequent hospitalizations, the inability to have children or produce male hormones and experiencing painful erections. The state argued against his suit claiming that the doctors in the prison system are government employees and should receive immunity from prosecution.  The judge in the case denied the state’s argument, saying, “prisoners should not be denied recovery for the sole reason that the doctor or nurse is a government employee.”

The total damages awarded to Slingluff were $983,395.

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Gavin P. Lentz, Esq.
Bochetto & Lentz

Gavin Lentz (right) was selected as a "Super Lawyer" for 2006-2009 and 2010-2015 in New Jersey by Philadelphia Magazine. He has also been selected as a "Super Lawyer" by Philadelphia Magazine and the Legal Intelligencer in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 - 2015.

On September 16, 2002 Mr. Lentz was selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Pennsylvania by the Legal Intelligencer.

He has made many television appearances, including on Fox News, The Today Show, Inside Edition, and The Phil Donahue Show.

Mr. Lentz is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

As a former prosecutor, he knows how to aggressively go after large pharmacy chains to prove the facts necessary to protect your loved one's rights.

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