Judge won’t toss lawsuit over ivermectin in Arkansas jail

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit that says detainees at an Arkansas jail were given the drug ivermectin to fight COVID-19 without their knowledge.

The lawsuit contends detainees at the Washington County Jail in Fayetteville were given ivermectin as early as November 2020 but were unaware until July 2021. Ivermectin is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to address parasitic infestations such as intestinal worms and head lice and some skin conditions, such as rosacea. It is not, and was not at the time, approved to treat COVID-19.

U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks ruled Thursday that the lawsuit could move forward, saying Dr. Robert Karas used detainees for an experiment, The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Plaintiffs in the case include Edrick Floreal-Wooten, Jeremiah Little, Julio Gonzales, Thomas Fritch and Dayman Blackburn. The case was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union last year against Karas, Karas Correctional Health, former Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder and the Washington County Detention Center.

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