By Christopher Zoukis
In March 2015, 53-year-old Ralph Karl Ingrim suffered a seizure at a Dollar General store in Amarillo, Texas. A store clerk was kind enough to call the police to have him removed. When they arrived, Ingrim allegedly became argumentative, placed his hand on an officer’s chest and was promptly arrested on a misdemeanor trespass charge.
When Ingrim’s mother, Serena Kincanon, became aware of her son’s arrest, she immediately traveled to the Randall County Jail and alerted guard Nick Wright of Ingrim’s medication needs. While she provided a list of her son’s necessary medications, Wright allegedly wadded up and threw away the notes. According to Kincanon, Wright told her the only recourse was to post Ingrim’s bond.
Kincanon left to arrange for her son’s release. But before she returned to the jail a few hours later, Ingrim had suffered a seizure in his cell. During the seizure he fell, fractured his skull and suffered a brain bleed. According to a lawsuit filed on Ingrim’s behalf on March 24, 2017, the seizure and fall resulted in “permanent and extremely severe” impairments. After two years of therapy, Ingrim’s reading ability didn’t surpass the third-grade level; he was declared legally incompetent and Kincanon was named as his guardian.
The lawsuit alleged a “systemic failure” to provide adequate medical care at the jail, and cited two other incidents in which prisoners were denied anti-seizure medication and suffered injuries as a result. One of those prisoners, 52-year-old Wendell Carl Simmons, died in April 2015, ten months after he had a seizure, fell face-first onto a metal grate and experienced a subdural hemorrhage. Randall County settled a wrongful death suit brought by Simmons’ family in February 2017, for $50,000.
The complaint filed by Ingrim’s mother remains pending; the jail’s for-profit medical contractor, Correct Care Solutions, LLC, is named as a defendant. See: Kincanon v. Randall County, U.S.D.C. (N.D. Tex.), Case No. 2:17-cv-00055-C.
Related legal case
Kincanon v. Randall County
|Cite||U.S.D.C. (N.D. Tex.), Case No. 2:17-cv-00055-C|
This article originally appeared in Prison Legal News on October 9, 2017.
About Christopher Zoukis
Christopher Zoukis is an outspoken prisoner rights and correctional education advocate who is incarcerated at FCI Petersburg Medium in Virginia. He is an award-winning writer whose work has been published widely in major publications such as The Huffington Post, Prison Legal News, New York Daily News and various other print and online publications. Learn more about Christopher Zoukis at christopherzoukis.com and prisoneducation.com.