Bruce A. Bailey, Washington, Georgia Candidate for Mayor and Nurse Practitioner at MedNow Urgent Care Accused of Wrongful Death and Denying Access to Medical Care in Past Lawsuits.

Published on 14 October 2023 at 10:03

Bruce Anthony Bailey is a resident of Washington Georgia and currently works at MedNow Urgent Care in Washington. MedNow has 8 locations including Evans, Thomson and Augusta. It is listed on Bailey's Linkedin profile that he is also trauma program manager at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Georgia.  However, he has informed me he is no longer in that position. Bailey is a candidate for mayor in the 2023 municipal election.

 

In 2006 Bruce Bailey and the company he was the sole owner of, Integrative Detention Health Systems, providing medical services to prison inmates, was sued for wrongful death alleging Bailey and his staff were negligent in providing basic medical assessments and care. At the time, Bailey was an LPN. The inmate, Gardner Dalton had a known history of mental health issues and stomach problems. The complaint stated that Dalton repeatedly complained of stomach pain and asked for medical help but was never seen by a medical doctor or an RN as was the policy of the jail and what Bailey agreed to provide. The complaint states Dalton was ultimately found dead in his cell, blood soaking his pants and having suffered a slow and painful hemorrhage, the autopsy report stated “the ulcer eroded into a small artery, which led to slow, progressive and eventual massive gastrointestinal hemorrhage and his death.” Mr. Dalton was 41 years old at the time of his death and left behind one daughter. The case was settled out of court with Bailey agreeing to pay $425,000 to Dalton’s estate.

 

In 2014 Bailey was again sued, this time by an inmate in the Hart County Jail where his company also had a contract to provide all inmate medical services. The contract stated, “We will manage your inmate healthcare from the moment of booking, until release or transfer.” At the time Bailey was an RN. Monica Robinson was taken to jail for a parole violation, she had failed to report to her parole officer. She had recently suffered from a staph infection and told Bailey’s employee, a paramedic at the jail, that she was having back pain and was worried she had a recurrence of the staph infection. For nearly two weeks, Robinson was refused access to a doctor or any care other than the EMS staff Bailey hired to assess patients and to relay information to him about patient needs. Bailey acknowledged receiving the information that Robinson was having continued severe back pain, constipation and ultimately the inability to urinate, walk or keep down fluids but still did not see her himself or grant her request to be seen by a doctor. Finally, a bible study volunteer who was visiting the jail, was called to her cell by concerned inmates and saw the condition Robinson was in and called Robinson’s father, at her request, telling him emergency services were needed for his daughter. 911 was finally called by the captain who managed the jail. In deposition, when asked why he called 911 he said he had called Bailey and that “Bruce wasn’t excited about it” and that he wanted something done “right then.”

 

Robinson had been suffering from a severe staph infection that had reached her spine, required extensive surgery and left her with disabilities. In this case, a jury awarded Robinson $453,000 and said Bailey bore 67% responsibility for Robinson’s pain, suffering and disability, placing the remaining responsibility on the physician who worked for Bailey’s company. Robinson was 31 at the time and has since passed away leaving behind two children.

 

In depositions Bailey explained that the staff he hired who worked in the jail were not nurses but EMS providers and conducted the physical assessments to the patients and relayed information to him verbally and in written notes. Bailey, as the nurse, an LPN in the case of Dalton and an RN by the time he was involved with Robinson, made the decision whether it was necessary to consult his medical director, who was a physician, ask the doctor to prescribe medication or make arrangements for the inmate to see a physician at a nearby emergency room. The medical director also stated he had never called the jail, didn’t even know the names of the paramedics who worked for Bailey and only had contact with patients if they were brought to him or if Bailey requested he consult on a patient. It is alleged in both cases, Bailey and staff were acting outside of standards of care, their license and skill set.

 

A more detailed report of these cases follows below.

 

Bruce Bailey became licensed as an EMT-Intermediate in 1992 and that license was active until 1999. In 1997 he became licensed as an LPN, in 2008 he became licensed as a paramedic and that license is currently active although his license as an instructor has lapsed. In 2011 he became an RN and in 2017 was licensed as a Nurse Practitioner and that license is currently active.

 

All of the following information was obtained from court Case 3:12-CV-20 documents. The information is available to the public for view. The documents included the complaint, jury decision, contracts as well as multiple depositions and expert opinions.

 

Failure to provide medical care to inmate Monica Robinson at Hart County Jail

 

On August 6, 2014, a jury in Hart County Georgia awarded damages in the amount of $453,000 to Monica Robinson as a result of a lawsuit she filed against Bruce Bailey and a company he owned called Integrative Detention Health Services. Robinson accused Bailey of violating her rights and neglecting her repeated requests for medical care, leading to medical issues that left her with disabilities. The jury agreed with the accusations Robinson made and decided Bailey was 67% responsible and his company’s medical director, Robert Williams who was hired by Bailey, was 33% responsible.

 

Robinson was taken to the Hart County jail on July 21, 2012, for failing to report to her parole officer. She was on parole for a drug offense and had a history of methamphetamine use. In April, of that year, she had been treated in the hospital for a staph infection, specifically a MRSA infection which is very contagious and more difficult to treat because it is resistant to antibiotics. She told the jail staff and the paramedic who worked for Bailey, about the infection, drug use and that she had recently injured her back when her boyfriend had picked her up and slammed her to the ground. She requested to be taken to the emergency room to be seen when she first arrived at the jail. The paramedic who worked for Bailey assessed her. He told Bailey about her history, her pain and her request to go to the emergency room but Bailey told him to instead give her Tylenol and monitor her.

 

Bailey started Independent Detention Health Services in November of 1998. The contract with Hart County states “we will provide the highest standard of care for your inmates.” This care included 24-hour nursing consultation with on-site nursing visits, when necessary, regularly scheduled clinic hours each week, lab draws and immunizations and coordination of higher levels of care when deemed necessary. “We will manage your inmate healthcare from the moment of booking, until release or transfer.” At the time the contract was signed in 2002, Bailey was an LPN. At the same time, he had a contract with Wilkes County Jail to provide healthcare to inmates (another wrongful death lawsuit had been filed in Wilkes County in 2006, details of that case are addressed later in the article.) He stated in a deposition that at that time, he also worked full time at two hospitals including Wills Memorial Hospital in Washington, Georgia.

 

Robinson stated in court depositions that her pain worsened after her first day in jail. On July 23 she again requested medical intervention and was seen by the paramedic that worked for Bailey. The paramedic said he spoke to Bailey and again, was told to continue with pain medicine and to monitor Robinson rather than take her to a doctor. Robinson was receiving 1000 mg of Tylenol twice a day and buying Tylenol herself from the store in the jail because the pain was so severe. She said she was soaking cloths in water to put on her back to try to get some relief and was taking up to 15 showers a day in hopes the heat would help ease her pain.

 

On July 24 Robinson’s mother came to visit her in jail. According to Robinson, she was in so much pain that after 10 minutes she had to go back to her cell. She asked her mother to please help get her medical attention. Her mother spoke to the paramedic that worked for Bailey and told him she was worried the staph infection may have returned and she felt her daughter needed to have labs drawn and wanted to be seen by a doctor. Her mother worked in a hospital lab. The paramedic that worked for Bailey said he didn’t think labs were necessary but told her mother that if she could bring in the supplies to draw the labs, he would draw them and she could run them at the hospital where she worked.  Her mother told him she could not do that because it wasn’t the proper way to do things. A physician’s order is required to draw and run labs.

 

In deposition, Bailey said he didn’t feel there was any need to do labs on Robinson and that he “doesn’t know what it would show.” In the contract Bailey had with Hart County, lab draws and providing lab supplies was a service it was stated they would provide. When asked about this in deposition, Bailey said he and his staff didn’t check expiration dates on the lab supplies so when they drew labs and took them to the hospital to be run, they were often expired and they would have to go back and redraw the labs again so they stopped stocking supplies. No labs were ordered or drawn for Robinson and she did not see a doctor even though she and her mother requested to.

 

When asked about the concern of MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureas) being contagious Bailey said it is quite common in jails and that it isn’t really a concern unless there are open sores. He said he hadn’t heard of spinal infections causing paralysis “I’m not a neurosurgeon or anything like that, I don’t know.” In a deposition, an independent physician who reviewed the case, said that drawing labs would have indicated Robinson had an infection and would have allowed for earlier treatment that could have prevented her condition from worsening as it ultimately did.

 

Robinson’s condition continued to deteriorate and she continued to ask for help. She needed assistance from other inmates to walk. She said she had not had a bowel movement for several days and said the only way she could urinate was by having the inmates help her push her abdomen against the back of a chair or stool to release a small amount of urine.  The paramedic gave her something for her constipation and conferred with Bailey telling him about the constipation, urination issues, she was able to walk but only with assistance and that she was shuffling her feet. Bailey said to continue to monitor her but still did not arrange for her to see a doctor.

 

On August 9 Robinson again asked for medical attention. She filled out a medical slip stating, “constant pain, back, legs numb.” She said she begged them “please let me go to the hospital and see what’s wrong.” She said she told them they could bring her right back, just please “let me go to the hospital.” She said the other inmates were also complaining to the jail staff and asking to get her help. No arrangements were made by Bailey or his staff to get her to see a doctor.

 

On August 10 the paramedic who worked for Bailey said he talked with Bailey about Robinson having increasing pain, not being able to urinate and numbness in her legs. He said they did not make a decision to send her to a doctor or the emergency room but Bailey said he would talk to his medical director about changing her pain medication.

 

On August 11 Robinson was only able to lie on her back on the floor, she couldn’t feel anything from the waist down.  She said she was incredibly thirsty but threw up anything she drank. Her abdomen was hard and swollen from not having a bowel movement. The other inmates had used a sheet they had rolled up and put under her, to turn her from side to side. The paramedic wrote a note that stated “Called to check on patient due to decreased mobility and urination, spoke with detention officer who said she had urinated once or twice because he had to change her sheet. Treatment is to continue to monitor and follow plan.” When asked why he didn’t call a doctor, he said “We (he and Bailey) didn’t feel it was necessary.”

 

Later in the day a volunteer who had been coming to the jail to do bible studies with the inmates, arrived. The inmates caring for Robinson were very upset and asked her to come to Robinson’s cell right away. She said Robinson looked very ill, was crying and appeared very afraid. She said her stomach was “distended” and that Robinson told her she felt like she was paralyzed from the waist down. The volunteer found a jailer and asked to get Robinson medical help right away. The jailer told her Robinson had been assessed and there was nothing more that could be done. The volunteer said she went back in the cell and prayed with Robinson and told her she would get her help. Robinson gave her the phone number to call her parents. She left the jail immediately and called Robinson’s father and said his daughter needed help right away. Robinson’s father called the jail and insisted his daughter get help.

 

The paramedic stated in deposition that he received a call from Bailey later that afternoon when he had gone home. He wrote a note that stated “Notified by B. Bailey to go to jail and check on patient due to concerns at request of Captain Milford. In route to jail, I was notified that Captain Milford had called 911 and EMS was enroute to take her to the hospital. I just returned home.”

 

Robinson said she was taken to Athens Regional Hospital where she was found to have a severe MRSA infection (Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureas) in her spine. It was this infection that was causing compression on her nerves and making it unable for her to walk or go to the bathroom. She underwent extensive surgery that involved an incision of her spine, the placement of rods and almost 50 staples to close the incision. The doctor told her she had a 50/50 chance of ever walking again. She was in the hospital for nearly a month and continued intravenous antibiotics even after she left the hospital. She had constant back pain. She learned to walk again but could not walk or stand for more than short distances or periods of time. She could not drive or run and play with her young daughter.

 

An independent physician who consulted on the case said that “no treatment despite her complaints until she loses bladder control and could not stand up on August 11, 2010, shows that this patient was essentially abandoned and not treated within the standard of care. Had this patient been diagnosed in July or as late as August 9, 2010, she would have had a diagnosis and treatment done surgically and in all medical probability, would not have become paraplegic.” 

 

 Lack of documentation and signed contracts

 

In a deposition, Bailey was asked about the lack of documentation that was noticed. There was no documentation of the conversations Bailey said he had about Robinson with his medical director and minimal documentation of conversations Bailey and his EMS staff had about Robinson other than the paramedics writing “BB” on a note, indicating they had discussed Robinson's care with Bailey.

 

In his deposition, medical director Robert Williams said he had not ever gone to Hart County Jail. He said he didn’t know the names of the paramedics that also worked for Bailey and that he didn’t conduct any regular rounds of visits with patients unless Bailey said a patient needed to be seen by him. He said he had never heard the name Monica Robinson prior to being told about the lawsuit.

 

The contract Bailey had with Hart County stated it was for 90 days when signed in 2002. When asked if there was a contract initiated after the 90 days had ended, Bailey said there had not been. When asked if he had a contract with medical director Robert Williams, he said he did not have a written contract with him. He also said he had no written contract with the two paramedics who he hired to work at the jail.

 

Captain Bobby Milford, who worked at the Hart County Jail said that Bailey hadn’t been to the jail in 3-4 years and that when he called Bailey about Robinson’s condition on August 11 he felt “Bruce wasn’t excited about it” and that he wanted something done “right then.” He also said he would have preferred the nurse was providing care to inmates rather than the EMS staff and that he had brought it up to county commissioners. He said the more he had seen how other jails were handing medical care, he felt they could be doing better and that they weren’t getting the value they had been when the contract began.

 

 Medical titles and scope of practice

 

Jail personnel often referred to the EMS staff that worked for Bailey as nurses. When asked about this, Bailey said that his paramedics have “more training than most LPN’s and RN’s do”.

 

Medical titles and the treatment allowed within those titles are protected and regualted and for good reason. Patients put high levels of trust in and are vulnerable when seeking medical care. Every single licensed healthcare professional is required to successfully complete specific education, clinical skills training and licensing examinations before they can call themselves a doctor, nurse, EMT, paramedic, respiratory therapist, psychologist, dental hygienist or other licensed healthcare professional. In fact, allowing someone to refer to you as having a title that you have not achieved is strictly prohibited and subject to discipline by the state licensing board. Each professional designation has very different education requirements, clinical training requirements and exam requirements. The state licensing boards are very clear about what clinically can be done with each credential. This is what is referred to as “scope of practice

 

A nurse for example, does not have the same authority as a physician (M.D.) and cannot provide treatment or prescribe medication unless working under the license of a physician. Nurse practitioners, as Bailey is now, need physician oversight to prescribe medication, treat and diagnose patients. There can be protocols in place that the doctor approves that allow greater independence, but the oversight of the physician is still required. The only way a nurse practitioner would have the same authority as a doctor, is if they actually attend medical school, pass the exam to become a medical doctor and do the clinical training that is required. Nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants attend about half the amount of school that medical doctors are required to complete. Patients being aware of these titles and who has them is so important that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently passed a new law to ensure nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants are making it known that even if they complete a doctoral degree or PhD, they are not a medical doctor. (M.D.) These are important distinctions for patients to be aware of.

 

EMTs and paramedics are critically important members of the healthcare team and we are so fortunate in Wilkes County to have an excellent team of emergency professionals serving the community.  However, to say they know more than or have more experience than a nurse is misleading. The length of training they must complete is very different and their education on patient assessments is very different because of their role. Paramedic training at Augusta University, for example, is a 12-month certificate program and can be started directly out of high school with no additional prerequisite courses. LPN programs can be completed in 12 months or less.  Certainly, some participate in additional education and yearly continuing education is also required as are Basic Life Support and sometimes, Advanced Cardiac Life Support. Paramedics are trained to work primarily in emergency situations where a quick assessment is vital to pass information on to other health care professionals who will be taking over care.  There is also a very detailed list of tasks and assessments they are allowed to perform, based on their level of education and experience.

 

These tasks indicate their primary role in serving patients in an emergency setting. Saying a paramedic will do better than a nurse when it comes to arriving on a trauma scene and treating a patient to quickly get them to a higher level of care, is most likely accurate if the nurse is not trained in treating trauma. RN’s, physician’s assistants, and respiratory therapists have a different level of assessment skill training because they work in settings where they are spending more time with the patients and providing care ongoing. They also have higher education requirements that take 3-4 years at a minimum, to complete. Having the right medical professional in the right role is vital to optimal patient care and even patient survival.

 

Wrongful Death of Gardner Dalton in 2002

 

The following information was obtained from the complaint filed in case No. 04-CV-0450 in a lawsuit accusing Bruce Bailey and his company Integrative Detention Health Services, of medical neglect, treatment outside the scope of a medical license and wrongful death. In this case,unlike the case with Robinson where Bailey was found liable by a jury, Bailey as sole owner of his company, agreed to pay $425,000 to the estate of Gardner Dalton. These are the accusations made against Bailey. This was not a criminal trial but a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages. I have not yet reviewed the depositions or other supporting documents as I had in the lawsuit brought by Robinson.

 

In December 2004 a lawsuit was filed against Bailey, his company Integrative Detention Health Services and Wilkes County alleging wrongful death by Esther Dalton, the administrator of the estate of her son, Gardner T. Dalton who died at Wilkes County Jail in 2002. Dalton had a child Justene Anderson who was his sole heir.

 

The complaint states that On November 13, 2002, Mr. Dalton was arrested and booked at Wilkes County Jail for driving with no insurance and an expired license, as well as DUI and two counts of probation violations. He was to be confined for three (3) months and 25 days.

 

Mr. Dalton never received a complete health assessment, including a history and physical examination, within 14 days of admission or at any time during his confinement of November 13, 2002, through January 1, 2003. This was a service to be provided by Bailey’s company, Integrative Detention Health Services. It is stated in the complaint that it was known to Bailey and to other staff that Dalton had a medical history that included stomach problems and mental health issues because Dalton had been incarcerated in the past in the Wilkes County Jail.

 

The agreement by and between Defendants Wilkes County and Integrative Detention Health Services required a registered nurse (RN) be provided to manage clinic sessions at the jail. None of the staff from Integrative Detention Health Services that provided care to Dalton, was an RN. Bailey was an LPN at this time.

 

 

Dalton requested medical care on November 24, 2002, stating that he needed his “mental health medication”. An employee of Bailey’s, who is not a nurse and not a doctor, responded on November 25, 2002 “and provided Mr. Dalton with medication for chapped lips. Mr. Dalton asked for medical care on December 6, 2002, requesting treatment for a left leg problem. He still was not seen by a nurse or a doctor and was prescribed Benadryl, an over-the-counter antihistamine used for allergic reactions.

 

As witnessed by several inmates on several occasions during November and December of 2002, Mr. Dalton suffered from nausea, weight loss, fatigue, heartburn, constipation, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, severe abdominal and stomach pains, vomiting, tarry stools, and vomiting blood. As witnessed by several inmates on several occasions during November and December of 2002, Mr. Dalton repeatedly asked for medical treatment and examination by a doctor for his medical condition, but he was denied.

 

By December 19, 2002, Mr. Dalton wrote an inmate medical request as follows: “I am having serious digestive problems and pain in my upper and lower abdomen. I can’t sleep or rest. I need medical attention right away and my stomach hurts very bad.”.

 

Bailey’s employee who was not a doctor or a nurse, wrongly guessed that Mr. Dalton was suffering from reflux, and prescribed a “GI cocktail,” which is an archaic and ineffective remedy for acid indigestion, as well as a medication called Cogentin, which is used for Parkinson’s disease and as an adjunct to therapy with antipsychotic medication, but which has nothing to do with abdominal pain.

 

Bailey, who at the time was an LPN and not a RN, and not a doctor, cosigned his employee’s erroneous conclusions on December 20, 2002. Bailey operated outside his licensure and deliberately failed and refused to take any history of Mr. Dalton’s symptoms, and deliberately failed and refused to refer Mr. Dalton to a medical doctor for obtaining a history, examination, diagnosis and treatment of his worsening duodenal ulcer.

 

By December 24, 2002, Mr. Dalton wrote and submitted another inmate medical request about his pain, as follows: “My stomach hurts. Acid reflux [sic] bad.” He wrote that he needed to see somebody “right away.”

 

Bailey nor any of his employees, ever obtained a full medical history, and failed and deliberately refused to refer Mr. Dalton to a medical doctor for assessment and treatment of the slow, progressive and eventual massive gastrointestinal hemorrhage that lead to Mr. Dalton’s death less than five days later.

 

Mr. Dalton’s autopsy report states as follows: “the ulcer eroded into a small artery, which led to slow, progressive and eventual massive gastrointestinal hemorrhage and his death.” Mr. Dalton’s death was slow and immensely painful, and he cried out in pain.

 

The complaint goes on to list the following alleged failures on Bailey’s part that lead to Gardner’s death:

 

Defendant Integrative employees and agents, including B.A. Bailey, were negligent in performing and/or failing to perform certain simple, ministerial duties with reasonable care, including, but not limited to the following: (a) failure to provide services of qualified personnel for provision of medical services to inmates including Mr. Dalton (b) failure to provide services of state licensed medical personnel for provision of medical services to inmates including Mr. Dalton c) failure to provide trained medical personnel to respond to medical complaints of inmates including Mr. Dalton (d) failure to provide necessary medical treatment by a designated medical physician to inmates including Mr. Dalton (e) failure to access and review all prior medical files for inmates, including Mr. Dalton, who had been previously incarcerated.

 

Defendants Integrative, and its employees, including B.A. Bailey, deviated from, and fell far below, the standard of care and skill ordinarily exercised by correctional health care vendors and their agents for jail inmates: (a) in failing to provide Gardner Dalton with appropriate and timely diagnosis and treatment for his mental illness and for his ulcer disease; (b) by laypersons and health professionals practicing medicine beyond the scope of their licenses; (c) by denying Mr. Dalton the opportunity to have a proper physical examination and medical assessment of his progressive symptoms; (d) as he became sicker and as he pleaded for help, by failing to provide Gardner Dalton with appropriate assessment and examination, referral to a licensed physician, medication, and observation to treat and monitor his ulcer disease to prevent perforation; and (e) by failing to provide Gardner Dalton with hospitalization and surgery once his ulcer had eroded into an artery and began to bleed.

 

The complaint alleged Bailey and his employees were not competent or licensed to examine, evaluate, test, diagnose, treat, or prescribe medications to Mr. Dalton for his condition, but deliberately and wrongly did so anyway, and deliberately failed and refused to refer Mr. Dalton, an obviously sick inmate with a serious medical need, to a physician or a hospital emergency room where the proper history, examination, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and medication would have been provided.

 

Defendant Integrative Detention Health Services promoted and embarked upon a medical care program at Wilkes County Jail that relied upon layperson diagnoses and treatment outside the scope of a health professional license, and thereby fell far below the standard of correctional health care.

 

The complaint further states that Bailey’s behavior arose to a level of deliberate indifference to Mr. Dalton’s serious medical needs and proximately caused his pain, suffering, and untimely death.

 

Again, all the above was obtained from the complaint filed in the lawsuit against Bailey and Integrative Detention Health Services, of which he was the sole owner. Wilkes County Jail was also named in the lawsuit. This and other documents regarding the case are available to the public and can be requested at the Wilkes County Courthouse.

 

The case was settled out of court in 2006 with Bailey’s company, Integrative Detention Health Services paying $425,000 and Wilkes County paying $75,000 to Dalton’s estate.

On October 13, 2023 I interviewed Bailey and asked him about these two lawsuits. You can watch the video of that interview here.

 

 


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Comments

Dunn Fred
6 months ago

This news is concerning and not a mere rumor, as it has been well-documented. Although I am not a citizen of Washington and therefore cannot vote, I have observed that supporters of Bruce are going to great lengths to discredit his opponent. Instead of focusing on valid points, they are resorting to extreme measures to vilify the other candidates. This indicates that they are genuinely worried about losing the election and are resistant to change. If I were a voter, I would question whether I want a candidate who has been sued not once, but twice, in a leadership position for a city, compared to someone who is accused of minor infractions.

Kristi Collins
6 months ago

To address the comment on here by Dunn Fred the valid point is this is in the past and Bruce Bailey has answered and responded to this and he is an outstanding person,doctor and overall man. Another thing it seems as if the want to attack the most deserving candidate because they have only put information out about Bailey it took citizens to share information about other candidates. So what are they all hiding?? If you look at it Bruce Bailey is the only one willing to stand up and speak the truth about any and everything. Have a blessed day!! Bruce Bailey for mayor!!!

Stevenson
3 months ago

To address Kristi Collins. I’d like to correct one point. Mr. Bailey is not a doctor. He is a nurse.