Inmate dies after one night in jail due to severe food allergy

Michael Saffioti turned himself in after a warrant was issued due to him having missed a court date. However, after one night in jail, he was dead.

Saffioti knew dairy could kill him. He grew up reading labels and carrying medication, and still suffered severe reactions whenever he was merely near dairy protein. The stress made him anxious to the point of needing medication.

“Ultimately, he found and thought he was better functioning using marijuana,” said his mother, Rose Saffioti.

Michael did not have a medical marijuana prescription, and his use put him in and out of the legal system. In the most recent incident, he and his mother went to police, armed with his medical history after he had missed a court date.

“I wanted Michael held accountable for his legal issues and I insisted on it. But I didn’t want him to die,” said Rose.

After eating oatmeal in jail, Michael couldn’t breathe. Other inmates say Michael begged for help and was accused of faking it. The autopsy found his severe reaction to milk products contributed to his death.

Government entities owe inmates a heightened duty of care because those inmates are at the mercy of their jailers when it comes to many basic needs, including medical treatment. If you are hurt as a result of a dangerous condition or failure of the state or municipality to provide for your basic needs while incarcerated, you may be entitled to recover for your injuries.

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