“While Clayton seeks justice for the neglect and malpractice that led to his amputation, he continues to endure a lifelong battle, living with chronic illness and disability,” reads the fundraiser description. “Clayton was recently hospitalized, fighting to recover from exacerbated infection due to the long-term lack of treatment while incarcerated at ACJ." The fundraiser was started by a staffer at the advocacy organization the Abolitionist Law Center, which is representing McCray in this suit.
https://t.co/ywC7mB0rUZ Our client Clayton McCray of #Pittsburgh was forced to have his lower-right leg amputated in 2020 after months of medical neglect inside #AlleghenyCounty Jail. Now he's suing ACJ's Medical Director, medical staff and former Deputy Warden, Laura Williams.— Abolitionist Law Center (@AbolitionistLC) March 29, 2022
According to McCray’s suit filed in federal court, he was shot in his spine in 2011, which led to numbness and gave him drop foot, causing his right foot to drag for many years.
TribLive reports that the complaint says this condition “made him vulnerable to developing ulcers on his right foot, which could worsen into a severe bone infection,” and that, in 2018, while incarcerated in two Pa. state prisons, McCray developed an ulcer on his right foot that was successfully healed.
The lawsuit alleges that, although ACJ staff was made aware by state correctional officials of the devices McCray uses to walk, such as his orthotic shoe and brace, ACJ confiscated these items upon McCray’s arrival in 2019, according to the Trib’s summary. It says they also often prohibited him from using his cane, crutches, and wheelchair inside his cell, among other complaints.
McCray was ultimately diagnosed with sepsis and a staph infection that caused him to lose his lower right leg, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit also says that jail medical staff initially administered his wound care properly, but by December 2019, "routinely changed McCray’s dressing in a dirty cell or refused to apply his wound care altogether." It also alleges that the jail repeatedly prescribed McCray inadequate antibiotic regimens once his wound became infected.
In June 2020, the lawsuit says jail medical staff gave him two days worth of antibiotics, despite having been instructed by a wound care doctor at Allegheny General Hospital to give him a 14-day course.
“McCray was in agony, the complaint said,” reports the Trib. “It was then that a physician’s assistant at the jail noticed McCray’s skin was dark black-green and reeked of a foul odor. She recommended a different course of antibiotics.”
McCray’s leg was amputated at AGH on Sept. 10, 2020. Six days later, he was released back to the jail, where he remained until October.