$120M lawsuit filed against Clements Unit, employees

$120M lawsuit filed against Clements Unit, employees

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The family of a Alton Rodgers, a Clements Unit inmate who died while in state custody, has filed a law suit against correctional officers, nurses and the former warden of the prison.

The lawsuit, filed on Monday, alleges that the Texas Department of Public Safety and 33 employees of the prison at the time denied medical care necessary for treating tuberculosis, a serious bacterial disease that attorney Jesse Quackenbush believes was ailing Rodgers.

Security personnel at the prison found Rodgers unresponsive in his cell on Jan. 18, a day before his death, and transferred him to Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo. The lawsuit acknowledges the findings of a preliminary autopsy that concluded Rodgers died from blunt force trauma, but states the final report illuminated several other health conditions including loss of vision, fluctuating weight, and an inability to digest food properly.

Quackenbush said Rodgers had contracted TB in 2002 while he was an inmate at Clements and believes the disease is responsible for the state of 'emaciation' Rodgers was in at the time of his death.

The lawsuit alleges the prison failed to provide a safe environment for Rodgers and his unique needs for care. The family is asking for $120 million in damages.

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