Texas Inmate Denied Medical Treatment for Flesh-Eating Bacteria Files Lawsuit

Micrograph of Flesh Eating Bacteria
Micrograph of flesh eating bacteria, showing necrosis (center of image) of the connective tissue.

A Texas inmate at the Gist State Jail filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice because he was denied adequate medical treatment when he contracted a flesh-eating infection.

While serving time at the Gist State Jail, Harold Millican contracted a flesh-eating bacteria when he fell and injured his arm while on a prison work assignment. With no way to keep the wound clean, the wound became infected and did not heal properly. Millican developed Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSRA) infection which is resistant to almost all antibiotics.

If left untreated, drug-resistant staph infections are known to cause the deadly flesh-eating disease known as necrotizing fasciitis.

Millican’s request for medical treatment at a hospital was denied. Instead, he was sent to the prison infirmary for treatment because no one was available to transport him to the hospital.

The wound turned yellow and green with a foul odor and spread from his wrist to his elbow and then to his chest where it ate its way through the skin and muscle tissue. It was not until the deadly infection caused his body to go into toxic shock and pass out that he was finally sent to the hospital for treatment.

Since then, Millican has been forced to undergo multiple surgeries to control the spread of the deadly infection. He is now permanently handicapped and disfigured.

He has filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and is seeking at least $200,000 in compensation and asking for the Texas Prison System to improve staff training on medical treatments for inmates in the future.

Millican is set for release in August 2019.

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About the Author

Lawyer X
Lawyer X is the pen name of a former attorney who now spends all of his time writing and consulting. While in practice he was involved in both criminal and civil trials across the United States, including picking or helping to pick juries in hundreds of civil and criminal cases. In addition to his work as a trial lawyer, Lawyer X wrote articles, lectured at continuing legal education seminars, and was active in the legal community in many ways. He maintains anonymity now so that he can provide knowledge from inside and express honest opinions and viewpoints that other members of the legal community would just as soon weren't shared.