June 2, 2022

A federal lawsuit filed in the United States District Court Western District of Arkansas Fayetteville Division on January 13, 2022 by four inmates at the Washington County Detention Center (WCDC) alleges: “This case is about protecting the interests of detained persons in the integrity of their own bodies through the necessity of informed consent to medical treatments. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thereon allege, that Defendants knowingly and intentionally disregarded U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warnings by administering the dewormer Ivermectin to them as a supposed treatment for COVID-19 without prior informed consent as to the nature, contents, or potential side effects of the drugs administered. Defendants also used overt deception in the administration of Ivermectin, telling Plaintiffs that the alleged treatment consisted of mere “vitamins,” “antibiotics,” and/or “steroids.””

“The truth, however, was that without knowing and voluntary consent, Plaintiffs ingested incredibly high doses of a drug that credible medical professionals, the FDA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all agree is not an effective treatment against COVID-19, and that if given in large doses is dangerous for humans. But this was no deterrent to Defendants, whose actions affronted Plaintiffs’ personal autonomy, violated their constitutional rights, and jeopardized their well-being.”

“Ivermectin is used to treat or prevent parasites in livestock animals, such as cows and horses. For humans, it is FDA approved to treat infections by some parasitic worms, head lice, or skin conditions, like rosacea … Once in the quarantine block, Plaintiffs were given a cocktail of drugs by Karas Defendants to allegedly treat COVID-19. The drugs were administered twice a day, and ranged in volume between 2-10 pills. The drugs consisted of high doses of vitamins and the drug Ivermectin.”

“On December 24, 2021, Dr. Karas admitted publicly on his clinic’s social media page to dosing inmates housed at WCDC with as much as 0.4 mg/kg of the drug Ivermectin- an astounding amount of the dewormer, and double the dosage recommended for its intended use (which says nothing of its use here). He stated further than this dosage regime was different than the dosage given to his private practice patients. At no point were Plaintiffs informed that the medications they were consuming included Ivermectin. 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.”

“Not only is Ivermectin not FDA authorized or approved to treat or prevent COVID19 in people (or animals, for that matter), but the FDA has issued a warning against using it to treat COVID-19. It can have serious interactions with other medications, and/or result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance), seizures, coma and even death.”

“Plaintiffs suffered side effects consistent with the overuse of Ivermectin. Specifically, they experienced vision issues, diarrhea, bloody stools, and/or stomach cramps. All Plaintiffs experienced mental distress, anger, and lingering mistrust of Defendants for permitting the use of, and administering, a drug in disregard of a FDA warning and without their knowledge or consent. To add insult to injury, Plaintiffs were subject to the payment of fees for medical examinations they sought after suffering side effects from the Ivermectin treatment. Pursuant to the contract between KCH and the County Defendants, those fees are payable to KCH, providing financial incentive to Dr. Karas as the sole member of KCH.”


If you or a loved one were harmed due to deliberate indifference or the lack of appropriate medical care while incarcerated in a prison, jail, or other correctional facility in Arkansas or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a local medical malpractice lawyer in your state who handles prisoner/inmate medical malpractice claims and may investigate your claim and represent you or your loved one, if appropriate.

Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to be connected with inmate medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.