County blames health care provider for jail inmate’s injuries

Joseph Guglielmo as he was transported out of Montgomery County Jail

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Joseph Guglielmo as he was transported out of Montgomery County Jail

Sheriff: Officers used “reasonable force” against severely injured inmate at Montgomery County Jail.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office has filed a complaint against the company it uses for health care at the jail, alleging it didn’t provide proper medical care to a homeless veteran who received injuries at the jail that left him wheelchair-bound.

The complaint was filed as part of former inmate Joseph Guglielmo’s federal lawsuit against Sheriff Phil Plummer and the county. In the lawsuit, Guglielmo alleges he was brutally beaten by guards in January 2015 while other officers blocked the view of video cameras.

RELATED: Homeless veteran beaten into coma in jail, lawsuit alleges

But in its legal complaint, the sheriff’s office says NaphCare, which provides medical services at the jail, should be held responsible for any damages Guglielmo suffered.

The complaint alleges Guglielmo entered the jail with head injuries from fighting with Dayton police when he was arrested at a homeless shelter. He suffered additional damage by banging his head against the wall and in a scuffle with corrections officers, who used “reasonable” force, according to the sheriff’s office.

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After the altercation, Guglielmo was seen by a NaphCare nurse who gave him an ice pack and had him moved to another cell for closer observation, the sheriff’s complaint says. Guglielmo was later found unresponsive in his cell and taken to the hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery and spent two months in a coma.

“(NaphCare employees) were deliberately indifferent to and/or acted with callous/reckless disregard for those serious medical and mental health needs in failing and/or refusing to provide the necessary medical care, assessment, evaluation, intervention, referral and treatment,” the sheriff’s office complaint says.

SPECIAL REPORT: Justice in the Jailhouse - Lawsuits, accusations plague county jails in the region.

In a response filed with the court, NaphCare’s attorneys wrote that the company provided proper medical care for Guglielmo, and noted that he alleges in his lawsuit that a corrections officer beat him and threw him against a concrete wall to “teach (him) a lesson.”

The company is arguing the complaint should be dismissed because, among other things, Guglielmo didn’t name NaphCare in his lawsuit.

RELATED: Sergeant named in jail assault lawsuit sought demotion

“(The county’s) allegations that NaphCare defendants exhibited deliberate indifference and reckless disregard to Mr. Guglielmo’s medical needs are baseless,” the company’s response says.

Montgomery County last year entered into a contract to pay NaphCare up to $3.55 million a year through 2019 for inmate medical services.

RELATED: Montgomery County Jail health care provider faces discipline

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