Patrick Uzalac dies a week after filing lawsuit against Ramsey sheriff for not treating his frostbite


Remember Patrick "Dorrien" Joseph Uzalac? He was suing Ramsey County, its sheriff and other parties for failing to treat his frostbiten feet while in their custody. He died at his sister's home Iowa on Wednesday. An autopsy is planned.

Uzalac ended up in the Ramsey County jail after he accidentally locked himself out of his New Brighton apartment in January when he stepped outside in bare feet for a cigarette. He threw snowballs at apartment building windows in the hopes of getting someone to let him back into the building. Instead, someone called police, who then discovered he had an outstanding warrant, so they took him into custody.

Uzalac spent two days in jail with badly frostbitten feet, and never received adequate medical attention, his lawyer said when he filed the $50,000 lawsuit against Ramsey County, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department, the City of New Brighton, New Brighton Police, individual officers and the nurse at the jail.

The sheriff said in a statement, "During the 40 hours he was in our custody, he received professional medical attention from the Ramsey County Public Health nursing staff. Typically it would take two to three days for the effects of cold weather exposure to display themselves. Our sympathies go out to Mr. Uzalac and his family."