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Vet’s Ruptured Spleen Ignored, Mocked by Jailors: Case Against Alameda County Set for Tria
by Siegel & Yee
Friday Jul 18th, 2014 9:28 PM
For Immediate Release
Vet’s Ruptured Spleen Ignored, Mocked by Jailors
Case Against Alameda County Set to Go to Trial

An Army veteran’s case against Alameda County and Corizon Health, Inc. may proceed to trial this December first, after a Superior Court judge rules this week that a County Deputy Sheriff may have failed to take reasonable action and may have been deliberately indifferent to the veteran’s serious medical need, and that Corizon may have been guilty of negligent medical malpractice in its standard of care. Judge Ioana Petrou ordered that these are questions for a jury to decide.

Kayvan Sabeghi was clubbed by Oakland police in the hours after a November 2011 Occupy protest and later underwent surgery for a lacerated spleen, but not until after 18 painful hours in a county jail, where sheriff's deputies ignored his complaints even as he lay on the floor vomiting, unable to move and begging for help, he alleged in his suit. The suit seeks compensation and punitive damages against the county and Corizon, its medical contractor for the jail.

Sabeghi, 33, of Oakland, who was an Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he had taken part in a nonviolent Occupy Oakland protest on Nov. 2, 2011, and was trying to walk home when he was stopped by police. One officer was videotaped repeatedly hitting him with a nightstick. He was arrested on suspicion of remaining at the scene of a riot but was never charged, his lawyers said.

At the Glenn Dyer Jail in downtown Oakland, the suit said, deputies initially refused to examine Sabeghi or take him to a doctor. One officer saw him lying on the floor throwing up and told him to stop using heroin, and another deputy recorded his sufferings on video to humiliate him, the suit said.

A medical staffer finally took his blood pressure and reported, inaccurately, that he was a diabetic and an alcoholic. After friends posted bail, Sabeghi, who had briefly blacked out and was unable to walk, was taken to Highland General Hospital, where he underwent surgery and remained for five days.

Sgt. J.D. Nelson, a sheriff's spokesman, denied shortly after the suit was filed that deputies had mistreated Sabeghi or ignored his condition. "As his conditioned worsened, we got an ambulance there," Nelson said.

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