Inmates Sue Jail Doc, Alleging He Gave Them Ivermectin For COVID Without Consent

Rob Karas, founder of Karas Correctional Health and a local doctor in the area, in an interview with Channel 5, the local CBS affiliate. (Screenshot/Channel 5)

Four inmates at an Arkansas jail have sued the jail, the jail doctor and the county sheriff, alleging they were given Ivermectin as a COVID treatment without their informed consent. 

The detainees at Washington County Detention Center began speaking out last year, when news broke that Rob Karas, the doctor whose company provides medical services for the jail, was giving inmates there Ivermectin as part of his COVID regimen — even though the drug has not been shown to be effective against COVID. 

That was scandal enough. But several inmates said they weren’t even informed that they were taking the drug. 

“At no point were Plaintiffs informed that the medications they were consuming included Ivermectin,” the lawsuit, filed in federal court Thursday in the Western District of Arkansas, asserted. 

“Further, Plaintiffs were not informed of the side effects of the drug administered to them or that any results would be used for research purposes.” 

According to the suit, which was filed with the backing of the Arkansas ACLU, the plaintiffs tested positive for COVID last August and relocated to barracks that had been designated as a quarantine block. 

Once there, they were given a “cocktail” of between two and 10 pills daily, including Ivermectin, the suit alleged. They were allegedly told the pills consisted of vitamins, antibiotics and steroids.

In September, Marlena Floreal-Wooten told TPM her husband, Edrick Floreal-Wooten, wasn’t told what medications he was being given by jail staff. She said she and her husband believed that several physical effects he experienced — abdominal pain, eye pressure, diarrhea — could be traced to the Ivermectin. 

“They would not tell him what he was taking,” she said. “That was a number of people.”

Her husband is now one of four plaintiffs in the case. According to the suit, Floreal-Wooten was given more than three times more Ivermectin than the dose suggested for the drug’s typical use — fighting worms. Another plaintiff, Dayman Blackburn, was allegedly given more than six times the suggested dosage. 

The suit further alleged that after news broke regarding the use of Ivermectin in the jail, “Defendants attempted to obtain ‘retroactive’ consents to medical treatment from detainees, including for the use of Ivermectin.” 

A post on the Karas Health Care Facebook page Saturday minimized the suit, though it did not address its central claim — that inmates were given Ivermectin without their knowledge. 

“Guess we made the news again this week; still with best record in the world at the jail with the same protocols,” the post read. “Inmates aren’t dumb and I suspect in the future other inmates around the country will be suiing [sic] their facilities requesting same treatment we’re using at WCDC-including the Ivermectin.” 

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