NY state sues Armor Correctional Health Services over 12 inmate deaths

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The New York State Attorney General filed suit against Miami-based Armor Correctional Health services over the deaths of 12 inmates in Nassau County Correctional Center since 2011, the Buffalo News reports.

The lawsuit seeks to bar Armor Health from ever bidding for jail medical services in New York again. State investigators found that in five separate cases, inmates died due to inadequate medical care.

While the state's lawsuit makes all its damage claims in regard to NassauCounty, two other lawsuits against Armor are pending in NiagaraCounty where two inmates also died due to insufficient medical care.

Niagara County hired Armor to cut costs by privatizing jail medical care. Within two weeks of Armor taking over in December 2012, Daniel Pantera and Tommie Lee Jones, Jr. died in their solitary confinement cells.

The state Commission of Correction investigating the case found that Mr. Pantera had died of hypertension and hypothermia, stating that the cell was too cold. The commission's report also stated that Mr. Jones was the victim of "patient abandonment" and erroneous prescription.

Niagara County elected not to renew Armor's contract after it expired in 2015 and hired Correctional Medical Care of Blue Bell, Pa.

"We stand behind the many caregivers who work relentlessly every day on behalf of Armor to fulfill our mission of providing quality care to our patients. Unfortunately, healthcare providers in the corrections setting are subject to frequent and unfounded allegations and legal actions," said Armor spokeswoman Yeleny Suarez.

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