Return to Forensic Home Page || Return to Table of Contents

Landmark Cases

Case Name: W.J. ESTELLE, Jr. v. J.W. GAMBLE

Date, Location, Cite: 1976 TX
429 US 97
US SUPREME COURT

Gamble was inmate, injured '73 on prison work detail; worked 4 hrs after injury. At the hospital, Physician Assistant sent him to his cell; 2 hrs later, he complained of intense pain, nurse gave pain medications, and he saw the MD. He was sent to his cell to rest, then 2 days later, Dr said move to lower bunk (not done). In spite of complaints of pain & medications he was sent back to work in 24 days.

He refused, & was placed in Administrative segregation. Then he saw a different MD, was kept on medications for 32 days(Rx lost for 4 days).

He was put in solitary for refusal to work. His complaints were ignored by guards. The Supreme Court said Administration violated 8th Amendment rights against "cruel & unusual punishment." It is Deliberate Indifference

Drs. failure was questionably malpractice, but NOT an 8TH AMENDMENT violation.