Federal Judge won’t toss lawsuit over ivermectin use in Arkansas jail

Taking a one day break from the more technical stuff.

I ran across this story a couple(?) maybe more days ago. The first thing which came to mind was the Tuskegee Syphilis Study as conducted by the PHS’ Center for Disease Control in Atlanta (AP). Some will say this is not as serious, they were prisons. they agreed to take the drugs, etc. The point here is we used our power to administer what they thought would be of help to them the same as Tuskegee. We lied . . .

Later in the clipping from AP, you will read about a quasi – county judge who boasts of being proud of the doctor abusing prisoner rights to a safe environment and treating prisoners with Ivermectin for Covid. It does not work.

It does shock the conscience. Judge Brooks

Judge won’t toss lawsuit over ivermectin in Arkansas jail, AP News.

Fayetteville, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit that says detainees at an Arkansas jail were given the drug ivermectin to fight COVID-19 without their knowledge.

The lawsuit contends detainees at the Washington County Jail in Fayetteville were given ivermectin as early as November 2020 but were unaware until July 2021. Ivermectin is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to address parasitic infestations such as intestinal worms and head lice and some skin conditions, such as rosacea. It is not, and was not at the time, approved to treat COVID-19.

U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks ruled Thursday that the lawsuit could move forward, saying Dr. Robert Karas used detainees for an experiment, The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Plaintiffs in the case include Edrick Floreal-Wooten, Jeremiah Little, Julio Gonzales, Thomas Fritch and Dayman Blackburn. The case was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union last year against Karas, Karas Correctional Health, former Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder and the Washington County Detention Center.

In a written opinion, U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks said Prison doctor Karas began conducting his own research and hypothesized the drug could be an effective treatment for COVID-19.

Karas prescribed ivermectin to two groups of test subjects.

  • The first was composed of people who sought out Karas’ services at his private medical clinic and agreed to take ivermectin as part of an experimental treatment for COVID-19, Brooks noted.
  • The second set was composed of detainees who were incarcerated at the jail.

U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks:

“The inmates received Dr. Karas’ treatment protocol for COVID-19, but did not know it included Ivermectin, Dr. Karas and his staff falsely told the inmates the treatment consisted of mere ‘vitamins,’ ‘antibiotics,’ and/or ‘steroids.’ Critically, the inmates had no idea they were part of Dr. Karas’ experiment.”

Since the detainees were never told their “treatments” contained ivermectin, they were never warned about the drug’s side effects, Brooks said. According to the FDA, side effects for the drug include skin rash, nausea and vomiting.

In addition, Karas hypothesized that large doses of ivermectin would be most effective in combating COVID-19. The problem, however, was that the FDA had only approved a dosage of 0.2 mg/kg to treat worms, according to Brooks. Karas ultimately prescribed lower doses of ivermectin to his clinic patients and higher doses to his imprisoned patients.

U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks:

“At first reading, it would seem highly unlikely — even implausible — that a doctor would have dosed his incarcerated patients with an experimental drug more aggressively than his private patients, but plaintiffs point to proof in their jail medical records.”

Brooks also said it was possible that Helder knew or should have known that Karas was performing ivermectin experiments on detainees without their knowledge because of Karas’ social media postings and that he approved, condoned or turned a blind eye to this violation of their rights.

Gary Sullivan, legal director of the ACLU of Arkansas, said in a news release,

“The incarcerated individuals had no idea they were part of a medical experiment. Sheriff Helder and Dr. Karas routinely mischaracterized the fundamental nature of plaintiffs’ claims in their request for dismissal by refusing to mention the most significant allegations in the complaint.”

Brooks found Karas is not entitled to the immunity that protects states and local governments against damages from damages unless they violate the constitution. Brooks said Karas and his clinic had sought and won a county contract to provide health care to hundreds of detainees at the jail over many years at a cost of more than $1.3 million a year.

Brooks also said the detainees have stated a plausible claim for battery in that Karas intentionally concealed the details of a treatment in order to induce a captive audience to take a particular drug for his own professional and private aims.

Examining the case

In his discussion of the case, Brooks said the detainees have stated plausible claims under multiple legal theories against each of the defendants. Brooks called a defense argument that detainees weren’t forced to take the medication because they voluntarily swallowed the pills “absurd.”

Brooks said the courts haven’t hesitated to find that, where the human research subjects weren’t told they were participating in an experiment and/or the government conducted the experiments knowing they had no therapeutic value, the subject’s constitutionally protected right to life and/or liberty had been violated. Federal Judge Brooks . . .

“Separately, the court finds that the facts in the amended complaint, if true, shock the conscience,”

Brooks said there’s a plausible due process claim against the clinic, a corporation acting under color of state law that adopted an unconstitutional policy of medicating covid-19 positive inmates with high dosages of ivermectin without their knowledge. Brooks also found plausible claims Helder knew or should have known Karas was performing ivermectin experiments on detainees without their knowledge because of Karas’ social media postings and he approved, condoned or turned a blind eye to this violation of their due process rights.

Local County Judge

The Washington County Quorum Court in February 2022 approved a resolution praising Karas for his treatment of detainees and staff during the covid pandemic, saying “the numbers and effects of the virus have been largely exaggerated” with an estimated death rate of 0.5% in the U.S.

The resolution says there have been more than 850 cases of the infection in the jail with no deaths. The Quorum Court voted 9-4 to endorse the resolution.

Then-Justice of the Peace Patrick Deakins, now Washington County judge, sponsored the resolution supporting Karas.

“I don’t want this to be a debate about certain treatments. I want you to know how proud of you we are.”

Federal judge says it’s plausible Karas experimented on Washington County jail detainees, refuses to dismiss lawsuit over ivermectin, nwaonline.com, Democratic Gazette.