EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Snohomish County has agreed to pay $620,000 over the death of a severely allergic jail inmate who died after being served oatmeal that contained dairy.
Michael Saffioti had turned himself in on a misdemeanor marijuana charge in July 2012 and informed staff about his allergy. His family sued, saying that the next morning he was served oatmeal that contained dairy, soon became ill and was ignored as he pleaded for help.
Michael’s mother, Rosemary Saffioti, filed a $10 million claim in 2013 against the county. Saffioti’s lawyers claim Michael — who was known to suffer debilitating allergies — pleaded for a nurse to help him for 30 minutes before he became unconscious.
The claim alleges jailers were made aware of Michael’s numerous health problems, including his allergy to dairy products, before he was transferred from Lynnwood City Jail to the county jail on July 2, 2012.
In a statement Monday, Sheriff Ty Trenary called the 22-year-old’s death a tragedy. He said the county was owning up to its mistakes and noted that since 2013 the jail has improved medical care.
Among the changes, he said, are restrictions preventing inmates with serious health conditions from being booked for non-violent misdemeanors, screening all inmates at booking by a health care professional and hiring additional medical staff.
Below are earlier stories about this case: