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Lawsuit Challenges Prison Medical Policies

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A lawsuit alleges California prisons´ policy of keeping immediate untrained aid away from inmates in medical distress led to the August death of an inmate.

The suit alleges Ersel Ware of Stockton collapsed in a California State Prison-Solano exercise yard while playing handball and died after he was left without treatment for nearly a half-hour.

Attorney and former doctor Mark Ravis filed the suit against the Department of Corrections on behalf of the inmate´s family.

A prison spokeswoman says an investigation is under way — but added that she doubts it took that long for help to arrive.

She says inmates are routinely kept from victims both to allow professional medical teams to respond and in the event the fallen inmate was the victim of foul play — as often is the case in prisons.