State to pay $7M to jailed man who lost both feet, fingers

HONOLULU (AP) — The state has agreed to a $7.2 million settlement in the case of a former inmate who had all his fingers and both feet amputated after he says jail medical staff failed to diagnose him.

The attorney general will ask lawmakers for $4 million to settle the lawsuit brought by Aaron Person, who was jailed at the Oahu Community Correctional Center in 2011 after failing to show up to court on charges of drunken driving and driving on a suspended license. The settlement agreement says the state’s insurance company will pay the remainder, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (

According to Persin’s suit, he went to the jail’s infirmary four times on Oct. 4, 2011 for fever, dizziness, blurry vision, chills and head pain. Nurses gave him Tylenol and told him to drink more water. The nurses also contacted a doctor by phone, who ordered them to take a blood sample.

While Persin was getting his blood drawn, he showed the nurse a wound on his left forearm that he said started as a scratch he got during his arrest, the suit stated. The doctor who assessed Persin said his condition may have been due to a strep infection on his arm. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic, but prison officials did not fill the prescription until the following day, according to the suit.

After reviewing Persin’s blood test results, the doctor ordered him to be taken to a hospital.

Hospital staff determined he had severe blood infection, or sepsis, and kidney failure due to septic shock. Staff also found Persin’s wound contained a streptococcus bacteria, the likely cause of the sepsis.

As Persin’s condition worsened, doctors told him that he needed amputation. The septic shock had resulted in organ failure, which cut off blood circulation to his extremities.

Persin was released from the hospital on Dec. 4, 2011 and judges later dismissed his DUI and driving on a suspended license charges. His civil lawyer, Richard Turbin, said friends have been assisting Persin.

“He’s a very courageous and gutsy guy,” Turbin said.
A judge approved the $7.2 million settlement in October.