Michael Saffioti, a 22-year-old man in Washington state, died in July due to a severe allergic reaction he had in the Snohomish County Jail, autopsy reports have revealed.
Saffioti, who suffered from a severe dairy allergy, had turned himself in after missing a court date. He was serving time for a misdemeanor charge of marijuana use, reported KVAL.com when he died.
Saffioti used marijuana to manage the anxiety from his severe allergy but did not have a medical licence to use the drug.
An autopsy report released last week showed that Saffioti died from an asthma attack triggered by the milk in a bowl of oatmeal he was served. His death has prompted a lawsuit from his family and calls for justice.
"I wanted Michael held accountable for his legal issues and I insisted on it. But I didn't want him to die," said Saffioti's mother, Rose, to KVAL.
Saffioti brought the medication he would need to the prison and thought he would be placed in the jail's medical area, reported KHQ.
He was placed in the general population where prison guards reportedly ignored Saffioti's medical needs. Inmates who were in the prison with Saffioti said that the his pleas for help were ignored.
“The response from the guards was things like this: ‘If you don’t cut it out, you’re going into the hole,’ and ‘stop faking it,’" the Saffioti family lawyer Anne Bremner told Seattle-area TV station Q13 Fox.
"My motivation is justice for Michael, policies changed, protocols changed, so that nobody has to go through this whether they have allergies, are diabetic or have cardiac issues," Rose Saffioti told the Associated Press. "Nothing is going to bring Michael back, but it can effect a change, and that's what Michael would have wanted."
The Snohomish County Sherrif's office is now investigating Saffioti's death.