Man Arrested, Given Drugs Over Mistaken Identity: Suit

'The experience that I went through, this should never happen to anybody'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2018 4:17 PM CST
Stock image   (Getty Images/bdspn)

(Newser) – A 63-year-old Pennsylvania man is suing for false imprisonment, negligence, assault, and more after he says he was arrested and injected with drugs because neither police nor a hospital bothered to check his identity, the BBC reports. Eugene Wright filed suit Wednesday. The lawsuit—as per the Meadville Tribune—claims Wright was arrested June 15 by two police officers and the executive director of Stairways Behavioral Health after another man with the same name made threats against himself and others at a doctor's office that morning. The lawsuit states Wright tried to explain they had the wrong person, but they refused to check the ID and Social Security card in his wallet or call his employer to confirm that he was working when the threats were made.

The lawsuit states Wright was taken to Meadville Medical Center, where employees also failed to confirm his identity despite him having been a patient there in the past. Against his protestations, Wright was injected with anti-psychotic medication and another chemical used for anxiety disorders, according to the lawsuit. The mix-up came to light when Wright's daughter showed up. Since the incident, Wright says he's had trouble sleeping and has dropped weight, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. By way of apology, he says he received a $50 gift certificate to Montana's Rib and Chop House and $25 to Walmart. "The experience that I went through, this should never happen to anybody. It's very simple to check ID," he says. "These people need to be held responsible." The lawsuit names police, Meadville Medical Center, and Stairways Behavioral Health. (Read more mistaken identity stories.)

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