State pays millions in settlement to amputee who lost limbs while in custody

Local News

The state has paid out $7.2 million in settlement to a homeless man who claimed neglect at a state correctional facility after losing his two legs to gangrene.

Aaron Persin lost both his legs and fingers on both hands because he claims personnel at Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) did not give him the proper medical treatment.

“How could this state allow this to happen?” said Richard Turbin, attorney for Aaron Persin.

Turbin says Persin was sleeping in his car at Kapiolani Park when he was arrested for an open container of alcohol and outstanding warrant.

Turbin says Persin was transferred to OCCC, and he says that’s when things took a turn.

“He resisted arrest, there was scuffle and he ended up getting a scratch,” Turbin added. “Then the scratch became infected.”

Persin then became ill, and his lawyer says he was not given the proper medical attention while in jail.

“He would end up getting gangrene in both feet lower legs and both hands and they wound up having to amputate his hands and his feet and lower legs,” Turbin said.

After the state agreed to settle, all charges against Persin were dropped, according to the attorney.

Turbin now hopes the Department of Public Safety will be making some changes as to how they deal with sick and injured inmates.

“If they had a better medical facility there chances are these tragedies would not happen and the state would wind up saving a lot of money,” Turbin said.

Photo provided by Richard Turbin

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