Manhattan Jail Doctor Told Inmate To Throw Severed Finger Into Garbage, Lawsuit Claims

A Manhattan jail doctor has found himself in the midst of a lawsuit after allegedly telling an inmate at the Manhattan Detention Complex to throw his severed finger into the garbage.

The inmate, Rudolph Richardson, had his middle finger severed when a prison guard accidentally cut it off in an electric prison door back in June 2014.

The lawsuit claims that Richardson had to beg the doctor to save his finger and to put it on ice till it could be re-attached.

Thankfully, the doctor, Landis Barnes, did put the severed finger on ice and it was later re-attached at Bellevue Hospital.

Despite that, the prison inmate filed a lawsuit against the doctor who works for Corizon, a private company which provides medical care for New York’s jails, for malpractice as well as a civil rights suit.

The suit alleges that, “The medical treatment was so grossly incompetent and inadequate that it shocks the conscience and constituted deliberate indifference to Mr. Richardson’s fundamental constitutional rights.”

Despite that, Corizon has denied that Barnes told the inmate to dispose of his severed finger, saying, “Corizon Health’s top priority is and always will be providing quality healthcare to our patients. We believe the appropriate care was provided to this patient.”

On top of this claim, Corizon has come under fire recently, after being criticised for providing substandard medical care to inmates in prisons. The complaints are so serious that the city’s Health Department is reportedly looking to replace Corizon.


Back on June 4, Richardson, who was being held at the Manhattan Detention Complex on charges of criminal mischief, asked to return to his cell to use the bathroom.

While he was using the toilet the officer accidentally closed the electric door on Richardson, severing a portion of the middle finger of his left hand.

When Richardson began bleeding heavily, it took 10 minutes for officers to take him to get medical attention. According to the suit, “Incredibly, Dr. Barnes informed Richardson that he should throw the detached portion of his finger in the garbage.”

When Richardson begged the doctor to put the finger on ice, he reportedly complied, “Dr. Barnes reluctantly fulfilled this request,” the complaint says.

It remains to be seen whether Richardson will be successful in his claim against Corizon, in which he is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.