“He never met the Plaintiffs, never treated the Plaintiffs, and never failed to advise them their medicines included Ivermectin,” the filing states.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Defendants in a lawsuit filed by detainees in the Washington County Jail who claim they were given Ivermectin to treat Covid symptoms have responded to the plaintiffs’ push to deny them summary judgment.
In 2022, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against the Washington County Detention Center, Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder, Dr. Robert Karas and Karas Correctional Health (KCH).
The lawsuit claims the defendants were giving Ivermectin to inmates in the detention center without prior informed consent as to the nature, contents or potential side effects of the drug.
In a motion for summary judgment filed in July, the defendants claimed that data existed at the time the inmates were being administered Ivermectin that the drug “had anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.”
“Dr. Karas was on firm ground for utilizing Ivermectin to treat and prevent death from COVID-19,” the court filing said.
The filing says that, if there was a lapse in communication between the inmates and those administering the treatments, it was the failure of an employee at KCH and would go against KCH policy.
Karas and the other defendants requested that the case be dismissed.
The plaintiffs responded to the request in a filing on Aug. 30, claiming that Karas was in charge of the treatment and thus should be held responsible.
“The plaintiffs were all treated with the Karas Covid Protocol, and Dr. Karas was the final decision-maker for the patients he treated. Because these patients were treated with the Karas Covid Protocol, Dr. Karas was responsible,” the response said.
The plaintiffs noted in the filing that the Karas Covid Protocol included a “cocktail of various prescription and non-prescription drugs” and was “constantly evolving” due to Karas evaluating the efficacy of the treatment.
“The central issue before the Court is as follows: Do the undisputed material facts establish that Karas Defendants obtained Plaintiffs’ informed consent such that Karas Defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law? The answer to that question is no, and therefore, Karas Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment should be denied,” the filing said.
Now, in reply to the response to the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, legal representatives claim that Karas had no contact with the patients at all.
“Plaintiffs misidentify the issue here,” the reply to the response for request of summary judgment said. “It is not whether plaintiffs were not told by a non-policymaking employee that Ivermectin was part of the medicines ordered for plaintiffs for Covid.”
“The issues are: (a) Did Dr. Karas have any personal involvement in treating Plaintiffs and,
more specifically, even assuming he did, did he fail to inform Plaintiffs that the medicines included Ivermectin? The answer: He never met the Plaintiffs, never treated the Plaintiffs, and never failed to advise them their medicines included Ivermectin,” the filing added.
The filing additionally notes that if the person in charge of distributing the medicine failed to advise the patients of what they were receiving such behavior goes against KCH’s practices.
“There is no evidence here of a policy or practice that directed any KCH employee to allegedly violate plaintiffs’ rights,” the filing said.
Karas claims that he was never informed prior to the lawsuit’s filing that any patient claimed they were being given Ivermectin without knowing about it.
“KCH cannot be held liable due to the admission of its practice to advise patients of their medicines and due to lack of foreseeability. Dr. Karas is entitled to summary judgment due to not having treated any of the Plaintiffs and not allegedly having tricked them,” said the filing.
The final pretrial conference is scheduled for Nov. 3 while the jury trial is set to begin on Nov. 13.
Edrick Floreal-Wooten, Jeremiah Little, Julio Gonzales, Dayman Blackburn and Thomas Fritch are the inmates named in the lawsuit who were allegedly experimented on.