New allegations after inmate with severe allergies dies in jail


EVERETT, Wash. - New allegations are being made over how Snohomish County Jail guards treated an inmate with known serious medical issues in the hours before his death.


Anne Bremner, the attorney representing 22-year-old Michael Saffioti's mother,  told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Amy Clancy that despite knowing about Michael Saffioti's extreme allergies and asthma, a medical professional at booking did not put him in a medical unit.


 The 22-year-old, who had a warrant for his arrest after missing a court date for a minor marijuana possession charge, turned himself in to authorities in Lynnwood on July 2.


The man’s mother, Rose Saffioti, said she arranged through a friend in law enforcement to have her son transferred to the Snohomish County Jail because it has a medical unit.


After being placed in the Snohomish County Jail’s general population instead of the medical unit, Michael Saffioti died on July 3.


Bremner claims at least one jail guard and possibly more were aware of Michael Saffioti’s unique medical needs, as outlined in a letter from his doctor.


She also said Michael Saffioti was given a pancake for breakfast, in violation of the doctor's orders, and was told he had to eat it.


Bremner said when he had a severe reaction, his complaints initially went ignored by jail staff, and by the time they he received medical treatment, it was too late.


The claims come from interviews that the victim’s mother said she had with witnesses who were incarcerated at the same time as Michael Saffioti and came forward after KIRO 7 aired the man’s story in July.


On Thursday, the medical examiner said the 22-year-old died from bronchial asthma brought on by his severe milk allergy.


The Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office said it is awaiting results of an investigation by the Sheriff's Office, which runs the jail.


Rose Saffioti said she won’t rest until she knows what happened to her son and wants to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.