Gruesome Tale From a County Jail

     (CN) – A Colorado jailer and a nurse gave a prisoner “a pair of dirty, rusty pliers and a roll of gauze” and made his fellow inmates use them to pull his abscessed tooth, the man claims in court.
     Mark Traxler claims he was left bloody and in excruciating pain after fellow inmates extracted his tooth at the Logan County Jail in Sterling.
     He claims that while a jailmate was trying to yank his infected molar, “the pliers slipped, the tooth broke but was not extracted, and the pliers slammed into and broke a second tooth while Mr. Traxler screamed in agony.”
     Jailers did not send him to a dentist for a month, Traxler claims in his Feb. 17 lawsuit in Denver Federal Court.
     He sued Sheriff Brett Powell, Deputy Sheriff Max Arilliana, Health Care Partners Systems, and its Nurse Casey Williams.
     Traxler claims he had been in pain from an abscessed molar for more than two weeks before requesting medical attention from Health Care Partners Systems, which provides medical care to inmates.
     “Defendant jail nurse Casey Williams, an employee of Health Care Partners Foundation … along with Deputy Sheriff Max Arilliana approached him [Traxler] with a pair of rusty pliers and a roll of gauze and told him to go back to his unit and have some of the ‘fellas’ help him with a tooth extraction,” according to the complaint.
     Reeling in pain, Traxler says, he sought the help of inmates Dillon Stewart, Jacob Neilson, “Big Jake,” and Gilbert San Miguel, who performed the botched procedure.
     His fellow prisoners are not parties to the complaint.
     While San Miguel was trying to pull the tooth, “the pliers slipped, the tooth broke but was not extracted, and the pliers slammed into and broke a second tooth while Mr. Traxler screamed in agony,” Traxler says.
     Bleeding profusely, Traxler says, he begged staff to send him to a dentist, but they refused, offering him only ibuprofen and antibiotics. He says he developed three abscesses as a result. He was finally sent to a real dentist a month later, where two of his teeth were pulled, Traxler says.
     He seeks punitive damages for failure to provide medical care and treatment, and supervisory liability for failure to train and supervise.
     He is represented by David Lane with Killmer Lane & Newman, in Denver.

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