A 35-year-old woman in Pennsylvania is suing Allegheny County claiming her arm had to be amputated after sheriff’s deputies injured it and the jail’s medical provider ignored her pain.
Amy J. Needham was arrested on April 2 after a warrant was issued because she missed a preliminary court hearing, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
She claims sheriff’s employees broke down a bathroom door to take her into custody. The complaint says she was simply using the restroom when they Tasered her, applied arm bars and wrist locks, and put on handcuffs "that were too tight.”
She says the rough treatment resulted in "compartment syndrome," or increased pressure in the muscle compartment, that can results in muscle and nerve damage.
Her attorney, Marvin Leibowitz, said she was spent one week in jail and made 16 requests to see a physician. The mother of three was eventually hospitalized at UPMC Mercy, where doctors amputated the arm.
"She feels that her life is ruined," said Leibowitz. "I think she's having psychological problems. You're 35 years old and you lose your arm."
In April, Needham had failed to appear in court on a misdemeanor charge that was later dropped. She pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge in August, but was not sentenced to punishment.
She pleaded guilty this month to charges stemming from her April arrest, including two counts of assault and one count of resisting arrest. She was given nine months of probation.