Medical Abuse in Texas
I'm writing to request information and a guide to challenge TDCJ's medical co-payment. I am dealing with them trying to retaliate against me by charging me for services that are clearly exempted, i.e. falling from the top bunk and seeking medical attention for my knee and head right afterwards. I've been serving time for over 21 years and never really needed to know how to file anything against them properly until now.
I'd also like to ask if you know of anyone, yourself or other organization, that can help me in filing a 1983 lawsuit against TDCJ for their deliberate indifference and negligence in treating me. I wrote a Step 1 grievance on January 28 telling them that I was having trouble getting in and out of the top bunk, having fallen and hurting myself a number of times, and that there was no safe way to climb up (there's no steps or ladder in these old units) and requesting a bottom bunk or to be moved out to the camp. On February 10 I fell again and wrecked my knee and slammed my head into my fan.
I sought medical attention (for which I'm being charged) and was seen as a walk-in and had an accident report done. Then was told I'd be referred to the provider and be seen in 2-3 days. They refused to give me a bottom bunk then, even though I could barely walk and couldn't get up into my top bunk. After talking to various rank and being told only medical could give me a bottom bunk (and the nurse said it had to be swollen or broken before they'd do that), and to figure it out, I took a fall that night and spasmed my back, locking it up so that I couldn't sit up or even walk. Medical assumed I was faking and told me to get up and go back to my cell and again refused me treatment. I was locked up and disciplined for three weeks and subjected to a variety of retaliations.
After I wrote all of this up and sent letters to the Warden and Office of Inspector General, they finally let me see the provider and she ordered x-rays. The x-rays showed my ankle is fractured. Although so far I'm only being treated for one, the other ankle and shin feel the same way. They've put me in a walking boot and referred me to Galvaston, and put me in a bottom bunk as far as possible in the pod. So I'm forced to climb up and down four flights of stairs multiple times a day.
I know very little about the law or proper legal issues. I'm trying to learn right now, but could really use some help. I've given up asking these writ writers in here cause they can never agree on anything. From what I can find, this is a simple, cut and dry case. I've been keeping copies of everything I've written so far, but I don't know what else to do. I don't care about "getting paid," I just want them to fix these cells like they're supposed to. There are 116 units in this system and this is the largest, yet most all the others have steps and handles and tables to get up and down the top bunks. Guys like me who are big (I'm 6'5'' tall and weigh 280 lbs - I was over 315 lbs last year) are at risk and hurting themselves and it seems like nobody cares.