Attorney General Headshot

Attorney General Marty Jackley

Attorney General Seal

State Wins Civil Lawsuit in Inmate Medical Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, May 11, 2018
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215     
PIERRE, S.D. - Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms that a federal jury has cleared two Department of Corrections employees of any wrong doing in a civil rights lawsuit.

James Elmer Shaw, 41, an inmate at the South Dakota State Penitentiary, alleged that Troy Ponto, Associate Warden and Al Madsen, Unit Manager, had failed to provide proper medical care and that Ponto had retaliated against Shaw.

"We are pleased that the jury saw through the inmate’s spurious accusations. We appreciate their service and deliberation,” said Jackley. "I want to thank the prison staff for the difficult work they do and for their assistance during this investigation.”

Ponto, Madsen, and various witnesses presented evidence to the jury to show that Shaw failed to request medical care, that inmates are provided continuous access to medical care, and that Shaw was placed in the Special Housing Unit because he had stolen original medical records, and not for retaliatory purposes.

The employees were represented by the South Dakota Office of Attorney General, with assistance from the SD Department of Corrections and South Dakota Correctional Health Services.

The South Dakota Correctional Healthcare Services was most recently reaccredited in 2015 by the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare for all five state correctional facilities.