Legal Question in Personal Injury in Washington

Can you sue when jail medical care professionals make mistakes?

My brother & his girlfriend got into a fight, which ended when he punched through a plate glass window on their door. He didn't punch her, they were just yelling at her, if you are starting to get worried I'm tryiing to help a woman abuser. He sliced his upper arm in half, severing the muscle. The girls mom saw the blood and her daughter laying on the bed & freaked (who wouldn't?), needless to say he went to jail. He was treated by a ''medical officer'', and thrown into a cell. Turns out, they sewed his bicep muscle to his forearm muscle by mistake. They didn't check on the wound for 10 days, and of course it became infected. No further medical care was provided beyond a badage change for his entire 22 day sentence. His court appointed lawyer finally arrived 14 days into his sentence. He pled guilty, thinking that without a record, it wouldn't be so bad. Their fight wasn't physical, which all sides agreed on. Well, the judge decided to let his now Ex-Girlfriend choose his sentence. So, now he is a felon, which caused him to lose his spot in the Air-Force plus a handicapped arm, and complete violation of Civil Rights. Seem's a little steep just for getting angry enough to punch a wall. What can we do? His life & his arm are mangled.

Asked on 6/30/07, 9:52 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Merry Kogut Key Peninsula Law

Re: Can you sue when jail medical care professionals make mistakes?

One can always sue; the question is, can one win?

It sounds to me like your brother would have a good case against the government agency that runs the jail and was responsible for your brother's medical care. Clearly, he should have been taken to an emergency room and kept under medical care.

If the judge "let the girlfriend" choose the sentence, it's very likely the criminal conviction could be overturned on appeal. However, I think he'd only have 30 days to file an appeal (I don't do criminal law).

If your brother would like to contact me, I'd be happy to talk with him. My office represents people all over Washington State.

Merry A. Kogut

Managing Attorney

Key Peninsula Law


[email protected]

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Answered on 7/01/07, 11:16 am

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