Sheriff's office to pay $1 million to stroke victim's family - FOX 13 News

Sheriff's office to pay $1 million to stroke victim's family

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A mistake at the Orient Road Jail in Hillsborough County proved costly: $1 million. That's how much the sheriff's office and the private company that provides medical care for inmates will pay to the family of 51-year-old Allen Hicks.

The popular baseball coach died last year after suffering a stroke and spending 36 hours in the jail without treatment.

"It was really sad for me the situation and how it was handled," said close friend and fellow baseball coach Vernon Slater.

Video cameras show Hicks being dragged into the jail and left alone on the floor. The sheriff's office offered to settle the case even before the Hicks family filed a lawsuit.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office will pay $200,000, and the private company that staffs the jail with medical staff, Armor Correctional Health Services, will pay $800,000.

"That video just turns your stomach," Slater said.

The incident started back on May 11, 2012 when Hicks hit a guardrail on Interstate 275. He was questioned by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper and when he was not cooperative, he was arrested and charged with obstructing a law enforcement officer.

Hicks was taken to the jail and booked in, but did not receive a medical screening.

"I really do feel his death could've been prevented had someone taken the proper time and initiative," Slater said. "He was a good person, he was definitely for the kids, very passionate about baseball," he added.

The sheriff's office attorney, Thea Clack, issued a statement that said in part:

"It's clear mistakes were made by Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office employees and contracted medical staff employed by Armor Correctional Health Services. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office took immediate responsibility for its actions and accountability for its mistakes by conducting a thorough review of the entire matter and working with the Hicks family though their legal representative to reach an amicable settlement."

Melisa Chantres with Armor Correctional Health Services sent FOX 13 the following statement:

"Armor Correctional Health Services applies nationally recognized medical guidelines for individual situations, diagnoses and incidents. Due to Federal HIPAA regulations we cannot comment specifically on the inmate's case nor can we comment on the specifics of the settlement matter. Armor has nurses around-the-clock at the jail conducting immediate health screenings for each person entering the jail. By policy and procedure, they seek to identify all medical and mental health problems, including acute conditions such as stroke and injury or chronic illnesses such as diabetes and schizophrenia. Each patient is then discussed with or referred to a physician in order to establish a treatment plan that serves the best interest and safety of the patient."

There is a now a lawsuit pending against The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which oversees FHP and Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

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