Inmates file lawsuit against Prairie du Chien Correctional employees

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Ten inmates at the Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution have filed a lawsuit claiming they were repeatedly exposed to asbestos and black mold and were denied access to cleaning supplies.

Eleven prison employees are listed as defendants in the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin. The inmates are collectively seeking approximately $15 million in damages and are also asking for inmates to be taken to minimum-security facilities in the interest of inmate safety.

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections has not yet filed a response.

The petition was filed by Nicasio C. Quiles II, 45, on behalf of fellow inmates. Quiles has been convicted of numerous felony counts of failure to pay child support. 

He will be an inmate until at least 2022.The lawsuit claims prisoners were exposed to asbestos, a cancer-causing material; water carrying radium, gross alpha and rust; extreme heat due to a lack of air conditioning; and to mold.

The inmates claim proper medical care and treatment have been denied by Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution’s Health Services Unit.

Each of the 10 prisoners seeks $250,000 in compensatory damages from former Warden Tim Haines, and  $250,000 from Deputy Warden Kevin Semanko. Each prisoner also seeks $1 million in punitive damages.

A U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin representative said the court is checking into the backgrounds of the inmates as the court does in all cases involving inmates.

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