Monday, July 23, 2012
A doctor who began treating Jordan Miles in October 2011 says the 20-year-old will have "lifelong difficulties" due to the beating he took at the hands of three Pittsburgh police officers.
Dr. Maria Twichell, the clinical director for UPMC's Sports Medicine Concussion program, testified in a federal civil cast this morning that Miles came to see her last year with a host of symptoms. They included headaches, dizziness, short-term memory loss, nausea, nightmares, flashbacks and depression. Miles also complained of a loss of sensation in his face, particularly under his right eye.
Miles was an 18-year-old CAPA high school honor student when he had an altercation near his mother's home in Homewood on Jan. 12, 2010. Miles says he was merely walking down the street when he was stopped by three officers -- Michael Saldutte, Richard Ewing and David Sisak -- asked for money and gus and drugs and then attacked and beaten as he attempted to flee from the men that he says he didnd't know were police. The officers claim they did ID themselves and had probable cause to stop Miles because he was lurking around the side of a house in the area.
In court today, Twichell said Miles doesn't remember everything that happened on Jan. 12, 2010, but remembers some of the blows he took, including a hard blow to the right side of his forehead. Twichell says Miles told her he had also been having trouble doing things he had been able to do in the past, like math and other school work because he had trouble focusing and remembering things.
Twichell ordered a neruological exam of Miles and eventually concluded that he was suffering from post-concussive disorder, and that he had suffered brain damage to the right side of his brain. She diagnosed him with both cognitive disorder and anxiety disorder.
Miles' attorney, J. Kerrington Lewis, asked Twichell about Miles' future prospects.
"Jordan will have lifelong difficulty from his injuries," answered Twichell, who added that recovery from a trauma typically wanes after two years. "I think where Jordan is now is what we can expect going forward."
On cross-examination, defense attorney Bryan Campbell asked Twichell if a subject, particularly one involved in litigation, could magnify his symptoms, or even outright make them up. Twichell testified that the tests performed on Miles had safeguards designed to see if a patient was "magnifying symptoms or false reporting."
"Jordan passed all validity measures," Twichell testified.
Campbell also introduced Miles' application for a driving permit, dated June 6, 2010. That report contained a "health assessment report" in which Miles checked a box indicating that he was not suffering from dizziness. Twichell testified that symptoms can often present themselves as time goes on.
Campbell also asked Twichell about the fact that the emergency room report listed Miles as "awake and alert" the night of the incident.
"Being awake and alert doesn't mean a person didn't have a concussion," Twichell testifed. "The other option would be comatose."
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