A former inmate is suing the Minnesota Department of Corrections after he developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome from an allergic reaction to medication.
Forty-nine-year-old Teddy Korf of Pine City spent 30 days in the burn unit of Hennepin County Medical Center in 2007 after suffering an allergic reaction to Tegretol, a medication used to treat bipolar disorder and epileptic disorders. Mr. Korf was incarcerated at a St. Cloud correctional facility at the time. The medication was prescribed by prison medical staff, despite Mr. Korf’s assertion that he had no previous history of psychiatric illness.
Approximately two weeks after he began taking the drug, Mr. Korf developed a rash, fever, itching and shortness of breath. As his condition worsened, he was given Tylenol and Benadryl to treat his symptoms. The day before he was hospitalized, he reportedly pleaded with prison staff to take him to a hospital. Early the following morning, he was found in his cell in critical condition.
At the hospital, doctors noted that his skin had begun sloughing off from his lips, mouth and genital area. His airway was severely blocked and he required a ventilator to breathe. Additionally, he suffered corneal abrasions, which eventually resulted in the loss of his eyesight. He was subsequently diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.
Since leaving prison in 2009, Mr. Korf underwent a stem cell transplant and two corneal transplants but none of the procedures were successful in reversing his blindness. Today, he requires help from a personal care assistant to perform many simple tasks.
Mr. Korf is now suing Corizon, the Department of Corrections’ health care provider, for compensatory and punitive damages for the pain and suffering he caused as a result of his injuries. Mr. Korf’s attorney claims his medical costs have already exceeded $300,000 and are likely to increase in the future. The state of Minnesota claims that Mr. Korf received the best level of care possible and that no further damages should be awarded since he has already received a settlement of $275,000 from the Department of Corrections.
Although Mr. Korf has since recovered from his Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, his quality of life is now permanently changed due to the loss of his eyesight. While the outcome of the lawsuit remains uncertain, it is clear that this incident has negatively affected his ability to make a living and will have long-lasting financial consequences for himself and his family.
If you or a loved one has suffered Stevens-Johnson Syndrome after an allergic reaction to Tegretol, Tylenol or another medication, you need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages.
The law firm of Nadrich & Cohen LLP specializes in assisting Stevens-Johnson Syndrome victims in all 50 states in proving their injury claims. Call our Injury Hotline today at 1-800-718-4658 for your free initial case evaluation. All cases are accepted on a contingency basis, meaning there is never a fee unless we recover a judgment on your behalf.
Don’t let the pain of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome ruin your life. Call Nadrich & Cohen today to put our experienced SJS Attorneys to work for you.