At that point, Griffin was unable to eat and the next day began vomiting blood. After waiting two hours in the jail hospital he was taken to a local hospital for emergency surgery to repair a perforated ulcer. Griffin developed peritonitis that required additional surgeries and five hospitalizations. Griffin continues to suffer from bowel problems and chronic diarrhea.
Griffin filed suit in state court claiming jail officials were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. The jury returned a verdict of $1.5 million in favor of Griffin on his claims of negligence and medical malpractice. The trial judge dismissed the claims against Gail Steinhouser, the jail's medical director and dismissed negligence claims against sheriff Joe Arpaio and Maricopa county. The court denied a motion by the defendants to reduce the damage award, holding the damage award was reasonable. The county has appealed the verdict. Griffin was represented by Maria Crimi Speth of Phoenix law firm Grant, Williams, Lake and Dangerfield. See: Griffin v. Maricopa County, Maricopa County Superior Court, Case No. CV-95-16461
The Maricopa County jail is run by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who purports to be "America's toughest sheriff." Arpaio's antics of housing prisoners in tents, feeding them green baloney, clothing them in striped uniforms and pink underwear, etc., have gained widespread media attention. However, the steady diet of brutality and medical neglect, with the attendant lawsuit payouts, receive little attention outside the pages of PLN.
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Related legal case
Griffin v. Maricopa County
|Maricopa County Sup. Ct. case no. CV-95-16461
|State Trial Court