Expert Witness Blog Post

$3.25M in Medical Malpractice Death of Washington Prisoner

A lawsuit filed by Julia Kleutsch said her husband, John Kleutsch, 57, died of an abdominal wound that staff failed to properly treat, while offering him only Tylenol, The Seattle Times reported Wednesday…, $3.25M in Medical Malpractice Death of Washington Prisoner, 2021.


The settlement filed Tuesday in King County Superior Court is the latest fallout from the tenure of former prison medical director Dr. Julia Barnett. Barnett, who was hired in 2017 without some qualifications, was fired in 2019 after an internal investigation found the medical care she provided and supervised contributed to the suffering and deaths of several men at the prison, including Kleutsch.


The lawsuit said Kleutsch was recovering from outpatient cancer surgery when he was sent to the prison infirmary to recover but failed to receive proper care. It says Kleutsch asked staff to help when his wound became puffy, oozing and tender and reported excruciating pain in the 26 days before his death.


The lawsuit alleges at least one nurse asked Barnett to transfer him to a hospital but she refused.


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