By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com January 08 2003 1:00 AM ET
The family of Timothy Webb, an inmate who died of AIDS-related complications while incarcerated in Orange County, Fla., in 2000, have filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the county, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The family claims that county corrections staff refused to provide Webb with anti-HIV drugs, which led to his death. "It's mind-boggling to me that this man was out in the jail [instead of being in a hospital]," said family attorney Larry Hanks. "For some reason they chose not to treat him with the prescribed medicines."
Webb, who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1997, was arrested several times in Orlando and Orange County since the 1980s, his last arrest coming in 2000 for working as a hustler. After his arrest, his mother took his anti-HIV medications to the jail, but officials there refused to accept them. On May 28, 2000, Webb was transferred to Florida Hospital in Orlando and was diagnosed with pneumocystis pneumonia. He was returned to jail eight days later, and prison officials were instructed to treat him with 10 medications. However, jail medical charts show that none of the drugs were dispensed, according to Hanks. Webb died on July 2. He was 40.
County attorneys say everything reasonable was done to treat Webb, and they plan to fight the lawsuit. A trial date has not yet been set.