Court: Health contractor must defend Vt. in prison death - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Court: Health contractor must defend Vt. in prison death

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Ashley Ellis Ashley Ellis

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Supreme Court says a prison health contractor must defend the Department of Corrections against a legal claim stemming from the death of a woman who died in prison after she was not given needed medication.

In its decision released Friday, the court ruled the contractor Prison Health Services was bound by contract to defend the state for any legal cases arising due to its actions, overturning a lower court decision that had ruled in favor of the contractor.

The case stems from the 2009 death of Ashley Ellis, 23, of Castleton, who died two days after arriving at the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans. She wasn't given medication needed to treat a heart condition.

Ellis' estate reached a separate legal settlement with the contractor.

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