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)
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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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Notable Replies

  1. I hope that none of the inmates are black because…you know… the Tuskegee Study. And if they’re white, well how do we mention the Nazi’s experiments on Jews in the concentration camps?

    I mean really, is it not the 21st century? Even in Arkansas?

  2. Given that the FDA says it shouldn’t be used for COVID, this suit might have legs:

    • The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals. Ivermectin is approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.
    • Currently available data do not show ivermectin is effective against COVID-19. Clinical trials assessing ivermectin tablets for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in people are ongoing.
  3. Why in the hell aren’t these quack doctors losing their licenses right and left. The AMA and its certification boards, like most self-regulating professions — I’m looking at you ABA — are a joke. Such lax (my euphemism for non-existent) oversight does incalculable harm to millions every year.

  4. Don’t forget the AIA.

  5. As I wrote when this topic first was being discussed here, it’s not about the off-label use, because off-label use in and of itself it neither unheard of nor necessarily a bad thing.

    It’s about informed consent and, particularly in this context, informed consent in a coercive environment with its attendant huge disparity in power, knowledge, and access to information.

    I hope they have a case with evidence and that the discovery, or lack, of evidence that there was truly informed consent, and any evidence that there was really experimental stuff like differing dosages, etc., going on, provides the legal basis to sue this guy and his employers to metaphorical death.

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