Scottsbluff attorney fighting for man who became paralyzed - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Scottsbluff attorney fighting for man who became paralyzed while in jail

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A Scottsbluff attorney fights for a man who became paralyzed while being held in a Lancaster County jail.

Last year, Arok Atem was arrested at a Lincoln hospital after becoming belligerent. Several days later, he was found paralyzed from the neck down after being detained in a jail cell.

Atem's attorney Maren Chaloupka says her client is mentally ill. She says there has been a 'black-hole' of evidence to prove that jailers paid necessary attention to provide necessary care.

"I have requested from Lancaster County that they show me the records," explains Chaloupka, "That demonstrate went on in the time between when he was admitted in the jail on April 29th and when he was brought out of safety cell on May 2nd. Because he went in with all of his limbs moving, and no spinal cord injury and came out a ventilator dependent quadriplegic."

Chaloupka says the circumstances of this lawsuit are one of the few exceptions in Nebraska where punitive damages are available. She does not expect this case to go to trial, however, for at least another year.

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