A Wilburton man was mocked and needlessly denied medical care by jail officials while suffering a 91-hour erection in 2016, according to a $5 million lawsuit filed on his behalf.
Dustin Lance alleges in his civil rights lawsuit that he suffered permanent injury after employees of the Pittsburg County jail ignored his pleas for medical care while he was suffering from a continuous erection.
Lance, in his petition initially filed Sept. 18 in Pittsburg County District Court, says his troubles began Dec. 15, 2016, when, while incarcerated in the county jail, he ingested a pill offered to him by another inmate.
Lance, in his petition, says he made jail personnel aware the next day that he was suffering “unbearable pain” as a result of his condition.
The lawsuit says jail personnel repeatedly mocked Lance while denying medical treatment until Dec. 19.
Jail employees transported Lance about noon Dec. 19 to McAlester Regional Hospital, where doctors said they were unable to treat Lance’s condition and indicated that he required immediate transfer to a urologist in Tulsa, according to the lawsuit.
Rather than transport Lance to a Tulsa hospital, Pittsburg County officials returned the 32-year-old to the jail, where they arranged for him to be released on his own recognizance, according to the lawsuit.
Initially filed in state court, the lawsuit was refiled Oct. 10 in U.S. District Court in Muskogee at the request of Pittsburg County officials.
The lawsuit names as defendants Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris, the Pittsburg County Board of County Commissioners, three county sheriff’s deputies, a nurse and up to 10 other unnamed individuals.
County officials filed a motion Tuesday that seeks to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the case is improperly being brought by a dead person.
Citing language in the petition that indicates Lance is deceased, county officials say a representative of Lance’s estate should have brought the lawsuit if, in fact, he is dead.
Jon Williford, an attorney who filed the lawsuit, said in an email to the Tulsa World that Lance had not died and attributed the reference to his client’s demise to a “scrivener’s error.”
Williford indicated he would amend the lawsuit to remove references to Lance’s death.
Williford did not immediately respond to a request for further comment about the case.