OGDEN — The family of a woman who died at Weber County Jail is suing the county and Weber County Sheriff Terry Thompson in federal court.
The family of Amra Miletic, who was 46, argues that the jail staff "exhibited a shocking degree of deliberate indifference and reckless disregard" for her medical needs, allowing her to slowly bleed to death. She was found dead in her cell about six weeks after she was booked on an immigration hold.
Miletic, a Bosnian refugee, was detained by immigration agents Feb. 1, 2011. Miletic was facing deportation because of her criminal history, which included prior convictions for possessing cocaine and obstructing justice, according to a U.S. Immigration Enforcement news release.
Before she was booked, Miletic was taken to a hospital emergency room where she complained of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea that had gone on for several days.
She was then booked into Weber County Jail after the hospital released her that evening. The jail staff noted in her record that she needed beta-blockers, had heart and thyroid problems and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the complaint.
On Feb. 10, jail medical staff noted that Miletic felt sick and was losing weight. The next day, they noted she had blood in her stool.
On Feb. 21, the medical staff noted she still had bloody stool and ongoing abdominal pain and fever. They gave her Metamucil and hemorrhoidal suppositories, but did not diagnose the cause, the complaint reads.
After a month of unabated blood loss, jail doctor James Wood diagnosed Melitic with Graves disease on March 9. Wood thought that was the cause of her diarrhea and that the bleeding was hemorrhoidal.
The doctor requested her records and tests, though he did not prescribe her treatment — a thyroid medication and a topical medication — until March 18. Wood told her to follow up in a week.
The evening of March 20, staff found Miletic unconscious in her cell and tried to revive her. She was pronounced dead at McKay-Dee Hospital later that night.
The medical examiner concluded that Miletic’s hyperthyroidism, combined with recent blood loss, most likely caused a fatal cardiac arrhythmia.
Though Miletic continued to lose blood and feel sick during much of her stay at the jail, and the staff knew of her medical problems, they were negligent in attending to them, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit alleges that the jail staff did not ensure Miletic was taking her medication, did not diagnose the cause of her blood loss and was "deliberately indifferent" to the health risks of her blood loss.
The family is demanding a jury trial in this case. They are seeking an unspecified amount in damages.