Allegheny County jail lawsuit transferred to federal court
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A lawsuit by a former Allegheny County Jail inmate who said he was "repeatedly punched and kicked ... about the head, neck and torso" was transferred today from state court to federal court.
Robert D. Polzer, 37, was jailed in 2010 according to a complaint by attorney Jeffrey S. Weinberg in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in late January.
Inmates were ordered to lock into their cells, and Corrections Officer Daniel Kovacs "suddenly and without provocation" attacked Polzer, the complaint said. Polzer was injured about the face, head and torso, the complaint said, and required medical and psychological care.
Polzer was then charged in relation to that incident with aggravated assault, riot, failure to disperse and fighting, but he was found not guilty of all of those charges at a non-jury trial last month.
The complaint names Mr. Kovacs and the county, claiming that jail practices failed to safeguard against the use of excessive force, and resulted in deliberate indifference to inmate medical needs.
County attorneys today moved the case to U.S. District Court because it involves civil rights issues.
A county spokeswoman declined comment. Mr. Kovacs could not be reached.
First Published February 27, 2013 5:31 pm