Washington state to pay $3.75M after inmate dies of cancer

February 24, 2022 GMT

MONROE, Wash. (AP) — Washington state will pay $3.75 million to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the family of a man who died at Monroe Correctional Complex after his cancer went untreated despite repeated pleas.

Kenny Williams, 63, died in June 2019 of breast cancer that had spread to his bones, The Seattle Times reported. If he’d received chemotherapy, he likely would have lived to his release date last fall, according to the lawsuit.

Instead, efforts by Williams and his family to obtain treatment were frustrated by a confused and at times coldly indifferent bureaucracy, delaying proper care until it was too late.

The settlement money will benefit Williams’ widow, Dee Williams, and their four children.

In agreeing to the settlement, corrections officials admitted its medical care failures “more likely than not” caused Williams’ suffering and death.

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“The DOC failed. It has repeatedly failed. It has paid millions to settle cases that could have been avoided with competent and decent care, and it should take this case as an opportunity to look deep within itself and consider what it needs to do to avoid further travesties like this,” said Ed Budge, an attorney who filed the lawsuit last April on behalf of Williams’ estate.