Ross woman says jail neglect caused her to lose lower left arm
Excessive police force and poor medical treatment during her incarceration caused a Ross woman to lose her lower left arm, she claims in a federal lawsuit filed on Monday.
“The injury started it and then she wasn't given adequate treatment in the Allegheny County Jail,” said Marvin Leibowitz, the lawyer for Amy J. Needham.
County spokeswoman Amie Downs declined comment.
Needham, 35, says in the lawsuit that five Allegheny County sheriff's deputies, Lt. John Kearney and Detective Jared Kulik broke down her bathroom door on April 2. During the arrest, Kearney twice shocked her with a Taser, Kulik applied arm bars and wrist locks and someone put handcuffs on too tightly, the lawsuit says.
The excessive force injured her upper left arm, cutting off blood flow to her lower arm, the lawsuit says.
Needham developed a staph infection in jail and medical staff denied her request to see a doctor 16 times, the lawsuit says. She was eventually hospitalized at UPMC Mercy, where doctors amputated her arm, the lawsuit says.
Needham is suing Kearney, Kulik, the county and Allegheny Correctional Health Services, a nonprofit agency set up by the county Health Department that formerly treated inmates at the jail. The county switched to another provider this fall.
Deputies arrested Needham on a bench warrant because she failed to appear for a preliminary hearing on a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest and a summary offense of disorderly conduct, Leibowitz said.
Needham pleaded guilty in August to the disorderly conduct charge. The other charge was dropped and she wasn't sentenced to any punishment, court documents show.
On charges from the arrest, Needham pleaded guilty this month to two counts of simple assault and one count of resisting arrest and was sentenced to nine months of probation, according to court records.
Brian Bowling is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-325-4301 or email@example.com.
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.
- Ex-teammates say Kessel unfairly criticized
- Pirates notebook: Taillon headed for surgery, Richard traded
- New Penguin Kessel’s shot is what makes him special
- Jewish congregations dwindling, forced to mull viability of worship sites
- Early turnout strong for Pittsburgh’s Fourth of July festivities
- Russian winger Plotnikov could join Penguins in August
- Homestead Cemetery records will be preserved
- Bethel trio of siblings celebrate 150 years of marriage
- Floating homes offer ‘affordable’ option in San Francisco area
- Pirates can’t overcome long rain delay, Indians in interleague setback
- America’s path to freedom reflected in region’s numerous historic sites