Prisoner’s widow says state failed to treat cancer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The widow of a prisoner who died of cancer is suing the Tennessee Department of Correction and prison officials for $80 million, claiming they are responsible for the wrongful death of her husband.

In the suit filed Monday, Teresa Pendergrass claims her husband got a lung X-ray in September 2010 that showed a “mass warranting suspicion of cancer.”

A subsequent MRI was misplaced and it was not until the following April or May that a biopsy was performed. By that time, the cancer had spread to Preston Pendergrass' brain. Then, it was months before he received treatment.

Teresa Pendergrass also claims prison officials denied her visits with her dying husband and updates on his medical condition.

A Department of Correction spokeswoman said she was unable to comment on pending lawsuits.

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