Is it illegal for the police to fail to allow you access to your medical supplies if you clearly stated the need for intervention?

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Is it illegal for the police to fail to allow you access to your medical supplies if you clearly stated the need for intervention?

My sister is type 1 diabetic (in need of insulin shots at certain times, blood checks and required amount of carbs for meals). She volunteered to answer detectives questions at the police station. At arrival they had her leave her bag of shot supplies with them before entering the room to be questioned. They then proceeded for 8 hours without break. My sister told them repeatedly throughout this time that she needed food and her insulin or she may pass out. Sure enough near the end of questioning my sister collapsed and they had to take her by ambulance to the hospital.

Asked on January 21, 2015 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

Jason Ostendorf / Law Ofice of Jason Ostendorf

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Whether the state is liable for negligence depends on whether the officer acted unreasonably, and thereby caused an injury.  Since your sister was taken to the hospital, it seems pretty clear that the lack of medical intervention caused the injury.  The question is whether the police failed to follow proper protocol.  This will likely turn on whether the police department's pertinent internal practices and routine or policy manual addresses the issue.  If there is no such manual, then, if your sister had no prior criminal history or other facts that would reasonably lead law enforcement to mistrust her, then she should have a case.  At least that's how it would be here in Baltimore - I am a Maryland personal injury lawyer.  There are usually strict deadlines to sue the state, so she should consult with a lawyer in her state immediately.


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