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Crawford County prison lawsuit settles for $250,000

| Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, 3:12 p.m.

The Crawford County Correctional Facility and some of its medical providers have agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a former inmate's claim that he was injured because prison staff and medical personnel denied him access to medication in 2008.

Gary L. Richardson of Springboro charged in a lawsuit in U.S. District Court that he was denied access to his medications, including an anti-anxiety medication he had taken for many years, when he was admitted to the prison after an arrest on Nov. 18, 2008. He said he suffered a seizure four days later that left him with lasting injuries.

Richardson said his civil rights were violated.

Richardson, 61, described in court records as a retired police officer, was represented by Bonnie Kift of Ligonier.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit were the Crawford County Correctional Facility, several prison staff members and the Crawford County commissioners; Interim Healthcare of Erie, Inc., which employed two nurses at the prison; and a doctor who provided care at the prison.

The defendants were represented, respectively, by Jeffrey Millin of Conneaut Lake, Peter Yoars Jr. of Erie and Joel Snavely of Erie, none of whom could be reached immediately for comment.

Kift declined to comment on Friday. Court records indicate the settlement was bound by a confidentiality agreement that bars the parties from talking about the case, which was filed in 2010.

The settlement covers any pending or future civil rights or medical malpractice claims and includes attorney's fees and costs.

Court records show Richardson was arrested on a charge of simple assault and three summary counts of harassment.

Richardson claimed in his lawsuit that his prescribed Xanax and other medicine were taken from him when he was admitted to the prison in November 2008. He said he suffered symptoms in the absence of his medicine, including dizziness, weakness and a headache.

He had a seizure on Nov. 22, 2008, and fell. He struck his head on a concrete floor and injured his head, neck, shoulders and right arm.

The defendants said Richardson was prescribed medication after his admission on Nov. 18, 2008, including a substitute for Xanax. They said after he was returned to the prison, his arm injury was treated.

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