Lawsuit alleging 'savage beating' by Butler County jail guards tossed
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Butler man accusing Butler County correctional officers of “savagely beating” him.
Devon Kuhn, 37, agreed to withdraw his lawsuit, said Marie Milie Jones, a Pittsburgh-based civil rights and employment attorney who represented Butler County in the case.
“The county was pleased that the plaintiff agreed to withdraw his case,” she said. “There were some hurdles in the case, and they made a determination in the case.”
Kuhn's attorney did not return calls seeking comment.
In the suit, Kuhn named Richard Gigliotti, the warden at the time of the alleged May 2009 incident; deputy wardens Arthur Marx Jr. and Richard Shaffer, who has since become warden; and four correctional officers whose names were not listed in the complaint.
Kuhn claimed that the wardens failed to supervise the correctional officers properly and permitted them to “intimidate, threaten and punish detainees and inmates.”
He alleged that Butler County police arrested him on May 19 for trying to steal a bicycle. At the time of his arrest, Kuhn was out on bond on his third DUI charge from a month prior, according to court records.
He was taken to the county jail and, the next day, got into an argument with a correctional officer, the suit claimed. That led to a beating by guards that caused a “severe head injury,” the suit claimed.
Kuhn claimed that his father was told by Gigliotti that Kuhn suffered the injury when he fell off a toilet and was being flown to a Pittsburgh hospital, according to the lawsuit.
Medical personnel determined that Kuhn suffered a blood clot on the left side of his brain.
He underwent surgery and was in a coma for a month, according to the suit.
He then received about two years of treatment.
The suit stated that he suffers from moderate paralysis of his right leg and foot, left hand and wrist and is nearly blind in his left eye.
Kuhn said he cannot operate a vehicle, must have 24-hour supervision for the rest of his life and “will never be a productive member of society.”
The lawsuit sought damages for pain and suffering and medical expenses.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hays eagle egg breaks; unclear if chick was born
- Police end standoff with New Kensington man
- New Kensington-Arnold School Board superintendent hangs on as board vote falls short
- Harrison rape suspect awaiting trial accused of sexual contact with 6-year-old
- Kiski Area Intermediate School band chosen to play at state conference
- OSHA fines East Deer company $70,000 in aftermath of worker’s electrocution
- New Freeport Area Middle School comes with longer class day
- Oakmont bridge, New Kensington overpass near finish line
- New Kensington tattoo shop owner recalled with affection
- More Pa. Turnpike work means another detour for Indiana Township commuters
- Penn Hills driver charged in hit-and-run in Oakmont