By Karl Moffatt
Las Vegas Optic
A 69-year-old Las Vegas man suffering from a host of medical ailments is suing San Miguel County after a 30-day stay in the county jail where he alleges he was deprived of his medications and suffered because of it.
Jerry Coca, of the 300 block of State Road 65 in Las Vegas had pleaded guilty to his third drunken driving offense and was sentenced by former San Miguel Magistrate Philip Romero in October 2011 to 30 days in jail, according to court records.
Coca turned himself in at the jail on Jan. 9, 2012, to begin serving his sentence and showed up with written instructions from his doctor about his medical conditions and treatment. He was also armed with a supply of prescription medications to cover his stay, according to the lawsuit.
In the suit, Coca states that he suffered from a number of ailments including fibromyalgia, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, chronic depression and lower back pain with significant skeletal system disease.
According to the lawsuit, jail staff deprived him of his medications, which caused him to suffer debilitating pain and suffering to the point of near death.
San Miguel County Manager Les Montoya declined to comment on specifics of the pending lawsuit but noted that the county’s jail staff strives every day to treat all inmates properly and fairly.
“These are just allegations, and I’m confident the level of service we’re providing is reasonable for all inmates and that we’re constantly working hard to protect the health and safety of our prisoners and staff,” he said.
The lawsuit, filed by Attorney Stephen Peterson of Ranchos de Taos, seeks unspecified damages for alleged civil rights violations, negligent training and supervision and infliction of emotional distress.