Skip to contents
Crime and Courts

Bureau of Prisons to pay $300,000 to settle lawsuit after diabetic prisoner was allegedly deprived of insulin at Supermax facility

Seifullah Chapman was incarcerated at ADX Florence when guards failed to provide him an adequate dosage of the life-saving drug, putting him at risk of dying, the suit alleged.

In this Oct. 15, 2015 file photo, a guard tower looms over a federal prison complex which houses a Supermax facility outside Florence, in southern Colorado. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
  • Credibility:

The federal Bureau of Prisons will pay $300,000 to a diabetic prisoner who alleged he did not receive his required insulin while he was incarcerated at a federal Supermax prison in Colorado.

The prison’s medical staff failed to provide Seifullah Chapman, who has a severe form of Type 1 diabetes, the adequate amount of insulin while incarcerated at ADX Florence, putting him at risk for severe medical complications including coma and death, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Colorado. Both sides agreed June 1 to dismiss the lawsuit after agreeing on the financial award, court records show.

TODAY’S UNDERWRITER

The settlement comes more than two years after a federal judge ruled that three medical professionals at ADX Florence violated Chapman’s constitutional rights. Chapman was incarcerated at the facility, known as America’s most secure prison, between 2010 to 2015.

Chapman was sentenced to a 65-year prison term after he was convicted as part of the “Paintball Jihad” network in northern Virginia, where a group of men used games to train for armed combat. A federal judge in 2018 overturned his conviction on terrorism charges, citing a shift in how the law defines “crime of violence,” ending his incarceration.

The ADX prison — or administrative maximum — houses some of the world’s highest-profile prisoners including Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. The facility has seen a troubling reported history pertaining to the physical and mental well-being of its prisoners, who spend 23 hours a day in solitary confinement in a small concrete cell

A former warden at the prison, Robert Hood,  told the New York Times in 2015 that the Supermax prison was a “fate worse than death” that was “not built for humanity.” 

Chapman, in a statement, described ADX as “a prison that causes people to lose hope and experience inhumanity to an extent that I had not before nor since experienced.”

Defendants Dr. George Santini, Anthony Osagie and Ronald Camacho “systematically failed” to provide Chapman, a 49-year-old Marine Corps veteran, with adequate medical care while he was incarcerated at the facility, “exhibiting a pattern and practice of historical institutional indifference” to his medical needs, the lawsuit stated. 

Their attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Chapman lost consciousness from extremely low blood sugar levels about a dozen times after he was not given his proper dosage of insulin, the lawsuit said. He also felt severe pain and as if his blood was on fire. 

Chapman was represented by more than 25 student attorneys from the Civil Rights Clinic at University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. 



We believe vital information needs to be seen by the people impacted, whether it’s a public health crisis, investigative reporting or keeping lawmakers accountable. This reporting depends on support from readers like you.