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Prisoner’s lawsuit over treatment leads to $1.5M settlement against state
Now-disabled woman awarded over incidents at woman Alto, Hawkinsville prisons
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Lee Arrendale State Prison is a women’s correctional facility in Alto. - photo by The Times file photo

The attorneys for a woman incarcerated at Arrendale State Prison in Alto said she laid on the floor of a segregation cell “not eating” and “verbally unresponsive for three days.”

The state of Georgia agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by attorneys for Mollianne Fischer, who is now incapacitated and tended to by her parents.

Fischer was transferred to Arrendale State Prison in May 2014 for violating her probation on a check-writing offense, according to her attorneys Lyle Warshauer and Michael Perez.

“When she entered Arrendale State Prison on May 21, 2014, she was a competent, fully functioning adult. When she left Pulaski State Prison in an ambulance on June 30, 2014, she had suffered a hypoxic brain injury as a result of inadequate medical care, which has left her in a persistent vegetative state,” according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.

A hypoxic brain injury involves insufficient oxygen reaching the brain.

The case was brought against the Georgia Department of Corrections and a long list of officials connected with the corrections department.

The Georgia Department of Corrections public affairs office did not return multiple calls or an email request this week seeking comment from The Times.

Perez said he got involved in the case 18 months ago.

“We were able to obtain the medical records from the prison system, and that’s where we got all the information in terms of what was happening, what she was complaining of, what their responses were and that kind of thing. We were able to put the pieces of the puzzle together,” he said.

In May 2014, Fischer was on the floor of her cell and was taken to a segregation cell because the officers “thought she was faking being ill,” Perez said.

Fischer was then taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center “in a coma due to sepsis” two days after she was taken to the segregation cell, according to the attorneys. 

When she was discharged, Fischer was taken to Pulaski State Prison so she could receive dialysis. The attorneys claimed the doctor “did not give Ms. Fischer blood thinners to prevent a blood clot.” 

“On June 30, she went into cardiopulmonary arrest, and was later found to have suffered a pulmonary embolism,” according to the attorneys’ news release.

The settlement money will go into a trust for Fischers’ future care and medical needs.

“She is not really verbal responsive. She makes audible moans and groans, but she is what we call incapacitated or any semi-vegetative state,” Perez said.