TRCI inmate wins COVID-19 lawsuit

By on Saturday, April 3rd, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

UMATILLA – A specially-appointed senior judge has ruled that Two Rivers Correctional Institution showed deliberate indifference in its failure to care for inmate Richard Flores over a period of several months. TRCI is ordered to provide Flores with immediate medical care, refer him to experts, waive his co-pays, and prevent any retaliation against him due to the suit.

The suit was filed in Umatilla County, but was assigned to Senior Judge Gregory Silver, who retired from the Multnomah County Circuit Court in January.  Trial Court Administrator Roy N. Blaine said that there are a large number of COVID-19-related suits being brought by Oregon prison inmates, and therefore the Office of the State Court Administrator has been appointing senior judges to hear those cases. This is one of two suits filed in Umatilla County.

Records indicate that Flores had a number of medical conditions including asthma, hepatic dysfunction, and hypertension. Silver ruled that it is likely that Flores contracted COVID-19 last spring, but TRCI did not test him for it.

TRCI was represented in the case by an assistant attorney general from the Oregon Department of Justice in Salem.

Photo of a corridor at TRCI, via Oregon Department of Corrections