$500K Medical Negligence Settlement for California Federal Prisoner

On or about March 11th, 2011, Bernie Banuelous slipped in the shower at Federal Correctional Institute Lompoc and injured his knee and back. Following his injury, a Bureau of Prisons healthcare staffperson failed to order an x-ray for Banuelous’s back; a subsequent examination by another BOP internist yielded only a prescription to Ibuprofen and various exercises. Only after he made an additional medical request in October 2011 was Banuelous’s back x-rayed, and despite abnormalities in the results he was not seen by an orthopedic specialist until February 2012; the orthopedist declined to treat his spinal injury and referred him to a neurosurgeon.

Nearly ten months later, Banuelous was told by the neurosurgeon that he would not schedule surgery because no MRI had been performed. An MRI was finally ordered in March 2013, and Banuelous was referred back to the same orthopedist who had declined to treat him before, who once again declined to treat him. After filing a grievance, he finally received surgery in June 2013, but according to Banuelous his injury was likely irreversible and he remained on morphine, suffering from numerous ailments in connection with the long-untreated injury.

Congratulations are due to NPAP attorney member Nazareth M. Haysbert of Haysbert Moultrie, LLP, who represented Banuelous.