Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) An inmate at the Missoula County Detention Center has filed a lawsuit against the county claiming he has received deficient medical care during his incarceration, county officials said Tuesday.

The county, however, believes otherwise and plans to file a motion to dismiss.

“We received an order from federal district court regarding a lawsuit filed by an inmate,” said deputy county attorney Brian West. “He has filed suit claiming deficient medical care in the jail.”

Medical care at the detention center is provided by Wellpath, a national health care provider who cares for roughly 300,000 inmates in 37 states. The county last month renewed its contract with the provider for five additional years for roughly $15.1 million.

The services provided to the county include medical, behavioral health and dental for all inmates held at the detention facility.

“The inmate is claiming he is receiving deficient medical care,” West said. “By all initial appearances, it seems he has seen medical and has been given diagnosis and treatment while there.”

West added that Wellpath will likely defend the case but Missoula County has the capacity to assist if needed.

“We have to acknowledge that we have received the lawsuit and will be responding by the end of July,” West said. “We’ll likely file a motion to dismiss on behalf of the county.”

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