Man Claims He Was Allegedly Beaten and Tased By Sheriff Deputies at…

Jail Cell Where Alleged Attack Occurred

Dunham was a pre-trial detainee who was suffering from severe alcohol withdrawal when he was allegedly beaten and tased by sheriff deputies.

On May 29, 2019, an Amended Complaint was filed in a civil rights lawsuit against Monterey County Sheriff deputies and the County of Monterey by a former prisoner. The case is entitled John Dunham v. County of Monterey, Et Al. (Case # 3:18-cv-04467) and is before Judge Elizabeth Laporte in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division. Dunham is represented by attorney Charles Tony Piccuta from the Piccuta Law Group, LLP.

The Amended Complaint alleges that Dunham was a pre-trial detainee who was suffering from severe alcohol withdrawal when he was severely beaten and tased by sheriff deputies. Specifically, that Dunham was suffering from delirium tremens-a life threatening medical emergency. The Amended Complaint claims that Monterey County Jail did not follow its own procedures and guidelines for screening Dunham for alcohol withdrawal and potential alcohol withdrawal. Instead, it states that this task was undertaken by deputies who were not adequately trained to do it, instead of qualified medical personnel as required.

The Amended Complaint further states that all employees of the Jail and deputies ignored the obvious signs of Dunham's medical condition. It is alleged that Dunham was hallucinating, incoherent and disoriented to time and place when deputies decided to take action against him for repeatedly demanding a cup for water. The Amended Complaint continues to state that four deputies were involved in beating Dunham and that he was tased while on the ground of his jail cell bleeding.

According to the allegations, Dunham sustained facial fractures, a head injury, a concussion, multiple lacerations to his face and scalp requiring staples and stitches and broken teeth. It is further alleged that Dunham was transferred to an outside emergency department where he was immediately diagnosed with delirium tremens and treated. It is also alleged that his medical condition was so severe that he was admitted to the intensive care unit.

The Amended Complaint advances claims for First Amendment retaliation, excessive force under the Fourteenth Amendment and deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The First Amended Complaint also includes a claim for Monell Liability to hold the County, itself, responsible for the deliberate indifference claim. The Amended Complaint also names as a defendant, California Forensic Medical Group, Inc., the company allegedly hired by Monterey County Jail to provide medical and mental health services to inmates.

Contact Charles Tony Piccuta from the Piccuta Law Group, LLP to learn more about this case. (831) 920-3111.

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