Visitor Question

Thrown in jail with a concussion and no medical treatment?

Submitted By: Mom (Miami, Florida)

The other day my son got in a fight with his friend after drinking in a bar. My son, we’ll call him “Jon”, tried to go home before it broke out knowing that his “friend” has an anger issue and saw it coming.

Well, his “friend” didn’t want him to leave so he ran after him and attacked him outside. He threw him into traffic and he hit his head on the curb, splitting it open. It got even more violent after that and cops were flagged down.

Jon was bleeding from his head and had been punched in the eye and nose.

The cops tazed him twice in the chest, after the first time he vomited all over himself, the second time, he passed out. They threw him in jail for 12 hours despite his obvious head injury which is noted in the police report.

They made him sleep on a hard concrete floor in a pool of his vomit and blood even though he was crying for help.

They just told him to “Shut up!”

Someone in the jail told him he needed stitches, a nurse, but he received no medical attention. After getting out he went to the hospital, got a CAT scan and it showed that he has a concussion.

My question is, shouldn’t they have brought him to the hospital before jail no matter what? Or called an EMT on the scene? And does he have a case? Thank you very much for your time.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Mom,

Unfortunately correctly diagnosing a concussion, or how serious it is, cannot be accomplished by checking the results of a CT scan, as a CT scan detects how a brain looks and does not detect its normal functioning. You might want to take another look at the results of the CT Scan. You may have misunderstood them.

Whether your son should have been taken to a hospital or not is a subjective, rather than objective issue. To understand the policies of the police department related to injuries you would have to request a copy of those policies from the City Attorney, or Chief of Police.

Although you don’t allude to the condition of your son as it related to intoxication, we probably wouldn’t be far off the mark by presuming he was intoxicated at the time of his arrest. You do indicate your son was “drinking” in a bar. Under Florida State Statutes intoxication is defined as a person having a BAC (Blood Alcohol Level) level of .08% in his system. To reach .08% takes approximately two drinks of hard liquor, or maybe 2 – 3 beers.

If your son was intoxicated that may have been one of the reasons he was incarcerated, and may also be one of the reasons he vomited all over himself. Although Tazers are known to shock the nervous system, we haven’t been able to find any evidence of one causing a person to vomit.

Further, the police have what is called “Sovereign Immunity”. That means, barring “grossly negligent or reckless” behavior, police officers are statutorily immune from civil lawsuits.

From the facts you present, although “someone” in the jail said your son required stitches, apparently he did not, as according to you the only injury which required medical attention was a “brain concussion”.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: March 9, 2012

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