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Inmate's suit over medical care dismissed

| Saturday, July 28, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

A federal lawsuit filed by a man seeking more than $2 million in compensation for alleged poor medical care during his incarceration was dismissed this week.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Reed Eddy found that John Paul Currin, 43, who is serving a jail term of up to 40 years in SCI-Rockview, exceeded Pennsylvania's two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice suits in his 2011 claim.

Currin pleaded guilty in 2009 to the Dec. 16, 2008, robbery of Parkvale Savings Bank in South Union.

He claimed that he was trying to surrender when state troopers shot him in a hand, but officers testified that they feared for their lives because Currin tried to run them over with his truck.

His girlfriend and infant daughter were in the vehicle, police said.

On Wednesday, Eddy dismissed the case against four prison officials, including former Fayette County Prison Warden Larry Medlock and current Warden Brian Miller, and four members of the prison medical staff.

In the lawsuit, which Currin filed on July 29, 2011, he stated that after his 2008 arrest, he was treated in a Pittsburgh hospital and transferred two days later to the county jail.

“The essence of (Currin's) complaint is medical neglect and medical malpractice,” the suit read. It noted that allegations of medical malpractice are not sufficient to establish a constitutional violation.

Currin wrote that on Dec. 18, 2008, he was given Tylenol #3 by a prison nurse instead of the “proscribed (sic) medication I was priscribed (sic) by the ... hospital.”

He said his complaints were ignored by a medical supervisor.

“Currin has failed to show that these (administrative) defendants administered medical treatment, played any affirmative part in alleged misconduct or were even aware of Currin's condition,” Eddy wrote.

Currin's original complaint sought “financial compensation for medical expenses to repair his hand.” He also sought compensatory damages of $1 million and punitive damages of $1 million.

Currin's then-girlfriend, Ashley Lynn Johnston, 26, also of Youngwood, pleaded guilty to robbery and related charges. She was accused of driving Currin's getaway vehicle and was sentenced to a term of house arrest in 2009.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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