The family of an Oregon woman who died last year of complications from the flu at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility received $70,000 this week in a legal settlement with the prison.
WW first reported Tina Ferri's death, which the prison had not publicly disclosed ("A Bug in the System," WW, March 21, 2018). Ferri's family sued the Oregon Department of Corrections for wrongful death.
"Although we disagree with many of the allegations in the lawsuit, we are pleased to have reached a settlement with Ms. Ferri's family," says DOC spokeswoman Jennifer Black. "We provide flu shots to all incarcerated individuals, while respecting the rights of those who choose not to be vaccinated."
During depositions for the lawsuit, a state doctor acknowledged the state prison system is considering changes in its vaccination practices after Ferri died during a flu outbreak.
Dr. Daniel Dewsnup said the prison system was considering an opt-out policy to make sure inmates either got a flu shot or actively declined it, "which I think is one of the good things that might come from this case."