OGDEN — An Ogden man has filed suit against Weber County alleging he was injured on a community service work detail and denied medical care for injuries that included a concussion and a neck fracture.
In a case filed Nov. 13 in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, Ronald Michael Woodward, 65, said he was a passenger in a sheriff’s office community service van Nov. 27, 2015, when the driver slammed on the brakes to avoid an intersection collision.
The jail deputy had not restrained the inmates with seatbelts, the suit alleged, and the braking propelled Woodward out of his seat, somersaulting him into the front divider wall of the inmate seating area.
The deputy moved Woodward to a front seat and asked him if he was all right, the suit said.
Woodward “had difficulty responding ... due to hitting his head and due to the fact that his dentures shattered into pieces during the impact,” according to the suit.
The driver took the inmates on to the job site and did not seek medical attention for Woodward, the suit said.
Back at the county’s Kiesel Avenue low-security jail that afternoon, Woodward reporting worsening headaches and had bleeding from his ears and nose, the suit said.
He was given ibuprofen and sent to his cell, “where he spent the night vomiting due to concussion,” the suit said.
The jail released him the next day and he went to a hospital, receiving treatment for a head injury and a non-displaced fracture of the C4 neck bone, the suit added.
The suit seeks momentary compensation from the county for alleged violation of Woodward’s Eighth Amendment right to adequate mental care for a person in custody.
The suit also names as defendants the current and former sheriffs, Ryan Arbon and Terry Thompson, and 11 other jail employees.
It said the defendants “had a duty to have in place constitutional policies, practices, procedures, customs, and training to ensure its employees were trained and prepared to handle situations involving unnecessary and unreasonable risks to the health and safety of inmates.”
Woodward was serving a 30-day jail sentence after failing to appear in court on several matters, including three traffic cases, and failure to comply with probationary terms on a pair of misdemeanor convictions.
According to 2nd District Court records, his trouble began in June 2013 when he was arrested by Ogden police for shoplifting a tube of denture glue. During booking at the main Weber County Jail, deputies said they found a small amount of marijuana in Woodward’s shoe.
The county has yet to answer the lawsuit in court.
Efforts to reach Lt. Joshua Marigoni, the Weber County Sheriff’s Office’s corrections spokesman, were not immediately successful.
Woodward’s attorney, Alyson McAllister, also could not be reached.