Blood Draw Botch Alleged in DUI Case

A man who was arrested earlier this year for an extreme DUI infraction is now suing the quiet town of Gilbert, Arizona, in relation to that arrest.

When the arrest happened, police felt they had reason to believe that the man was driving under the influence. Because of that, he was taken into custody. At the detention center he was taken to, an officer conducted a blood draw to determine the man's blood-alcohol content at the time. This is standard in cases where someone is detained on suspicion of a DUI. The police did not note anything non-routine about this particular blood draw.

However, the man in the case viewed it as a problem. He says that about 30 minutes after the blood was taken, he began to feel substantial pain in the upper part of that arm. He also says that his finger began tingling, and contends that both conditions are directly related to the blood draw. According to his claim, the conditions are ongoing.

He went to a doctor at the Sun Valley Hand Clinic, located in Phoenix, on two occasions. He was tested for irritation of the ulnar nerve in the affected arm. That test was positive, and physical therapy was recommended.

He has now filed a claim demanding $500,000 in damages. The claim, a precursor to an expected lawsuit, alleges gross negligence on the part of the police department that did the blood draw.

His attorney suggests that his client's condition may be permanent. He also frames the case as public safety issue, saying that other citizens are at risk of damage from unsafe blood draws.

Just because a police procedure is done according to the department's policies - which may or may not have occurred in the above incident - does not mean there could not be harm done. If permanent injury has resulted from the blood draw, the department could be paying out quite a hefty sum in the court case. In addition, it could lead to a change in the department's policy for collecting blood draws.

Source: AZ Central, " Claim seeks $500,000, alleging botched blood draw by Gilbert police" Parker Leavitt, Oct. 09, 2013

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