A Fort Plain man who says he is now paralyzed is suing St. Mary’s Hospital and Montgomery County over the treatment he received, and didn’t receive, after he broke his back in a jump from a third-floor window.
Edward L. Dixon, 31, of Fort Plain, filed suit Oct. 28 against St. Mary’s Hospital, members of its medical imaging staff and the county jail.
Authorities earlier this year said police spotted Dixon on Jan. 4 going into a Fort Plain residence that an order of protection barred him from entering.
Police entered the apartment and couldn’t find Dixon until they looked out an open window on the third floor and saw Dixon curled up on the ground, injured from apparently leaping out the window.
According to the lawsuit filed by Gloversville attorney Robert Abdella, Dixon was brought to the Amsterdam hospital’s emergency room and, after an evaluation and some medical imaging, was diagnosed with “leg contusions.”
But the lawsuit contends that one of the medical images taken that day shows that Dixon suffered a fractured vertebra after the fall.
Dixon was not admitted to the hospital, and not long after the evaluation, he was transferred to the custody of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.
The lawsuit alleges that deputies were also told that Dixon suffered leg contusions in the fall and that “a fracture had been ruled out.”
While staying at the jail, the lawsuit alleges that Dixon “continued to complain of pain in his back and legs, and he conveyed his complaints to the corrections officers and medical staff at the correctional facility.”
Three days later, the lawsuit alleges, Dixon was refused the use of a wheelchair at the jail and he tried to crawl in the shower.
Abdella in the lawsuit suggests that deputies “believed that [Dixon] was faking and/or exaggerating his inability to walk,” so they “forcibly contacted [Dixon], lifting him from the ground and pressing him against a wall, all the while verbally insisting to [Dixon] that [he] was able to walk and in several instances striking the plaintiff in and about his body,” the lawsuit states.
Dixon is now a paraplegic, according to the lawsuit.
He was using a wheelchair earlier this year when sentenced to five years of probation on the felony criminal contempt charge.
Neither Abdella nor Montgomery County Sheriff Michael Amato could be reached for comment Friday.
St. Mary’s Hospital spokeswoman Jacqueline Marciniak declined to comment on the filing Friday.
Dixon is seeking unspecified damages.