McCray v. Allegheny County

On March 24, 2022, ALC filed a lawsuit against Allegheny County Jail’s (ACJ) Medical Director, Dr. Donald Stechshulte, its former Deputy Warden, Laura Williams, and medical staff members, on behalf of Clayton McCray, a formerly incarcerated man who had an infected open-wound on his right heel and for a year was routinely denied standard medical care, medical devices prescribed for him, outside treatment, and other deprivations, ultimately requiring him to have a right, below-the-knee, leg amputation when he was 26 years old.

Throughout Mr. McCray’s year-long pretrial detention at ACJ on a probation violation, the jail administration, doctors and staff knowingly subjected him to inhumane conditions and denied him prescribed medical treatments for his wound, and prescribed assistive or medical devices to allow him to walk safely and prevent the wound from becoming exacerbated. Upon arriving at ACJ, staff confiscated Mr. McCray’s medical devices (orthotic shoe and brace) and continued to deny or severely limit his use of them despite receiving his medical records that confirmed his disability accommodations and need for the devices.

Instead of being placed in a cell with disability access, Mr. McCray was either forced into solitary confinement or placed in housing that lacked access to medical support and prevented him from using his medical devices. He did not receive daily wound care as prescribed by outside doctors; was routinely denied pain medication, antibiotics, and adequate nutrition by ACJ medical personnel; and was barred from being examined by an outside specialist onsite at the jail. On many occasions, Mr. McCray was often forced to “hop on one foot or crawl to his cell door to retrieve his meals and medications,” when his medical devices—orthotic shoe, crutches, cane, or wheelchair—were unjustifiably confiscated by jail guards.

Because Defendants denied Mr. McCray prescribed medical care, medical devices, and accommodations, his foot infection worsened into a life-threatening bone infection (osteomyelitis), and eventually required McCray to undergo an amputation of his lower right leg in September 2020.

The lawsuit alleges Allegheny County and ACJ’s former Deputy Warden Laura Williams, current Medical Director Dr. Donald Stechshulte, physician Dr. Nancy Park, and ACJ’s Assistant Director of Nursing Jen Kelly, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and McCray’s 14th Amendment rights, and committed medical malpractice from 2019 and 2020.

McCray is now seeking compensation for his injuries including the permanent loss of his right lower leg, significant pain and distress, severe mental anguish, and compensation for his future medical expenses.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Plaintiff Clayton McCray is represented by Jaclyn Kurin, Rupalee Rashatwar, and Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center.

Case Timeline

03/04/22: Case Filed

03/04/22: Case Filed Cancel