The Nassau County Jail’s medical provider will pay $350,000 and refrain from bidding on contracts in New York for the next three years under an agreement reached Tuesday with the state attorney general.
This settlement ends a lawsuit by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, which charged that Armor Correctional Health Services had provided “dangerously inadequate” treatment to inmates.
The I-Team first reported stories from jail insiders last year who said cost cutting by Armor may have been costing lives.
“Medications are being cut, supplies are being cut, positions are not being there," said a former Armor nurse. "I don’t think there should be a price tag on anyone’s life."
Nationwide, dozens of lawsuits have been filed against Armor Correctional Health in the last five years, according to federal court records.
A New York state commission has ruled that Armor has played a part in at least five inmate deaths.
Six more inmates have died at the jail this year. The commission is still investigating those deaths.
In a prepared statement, Schneiderman said what Armor did should not be tolerated.
“This settlement agreement sends a clear message that companies who fail to provide the required health services to inmates won’t be tolerated in New York State.”
But Fred Brewington, a lawyer who represents two families who have sued the jail, says he wishes the settlement went further.
“This is very narrow,” Brewington said. “They failed to really put value on the lives that have already been lost.”
Armor said in a statement it was "pleased" to resolve the matter.
"Throughout the NY AG’s inquiry, Armor provided the NY AG with clinical data that clearly supported the enhancement of patient care to an extremely acute patient population," spokeswoman Yeleny Suarez said. "We are exceptionally proud of our caregivers for the dedication and passion they have continually demonstrated under challenging circumstances."
Armor did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
Nassau officials are considering new bids on a jail medical provider now. They are expected to announce a new provider in the coming weeks.