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'Needless, Awful Tragedy': Homeless Man Sues Loma Linda Hospital Over 2018 Beating

LOMA LINDA (CBSLA) — A security camera in the emergency room at Loma Linda University Medical Center caught the moment security guards took down a homeless man two years ago. Now the man is suing.

"He was viciously, brutally assaulted," attorney Daniel Balaban said of his client, 40-year-old Jesie Simpson. "Mr. Simpson was piled on by three or four security guards at Loma Linda. He was tackled, beaten, choked."

Attorneys say Simpson had undergone neck surgery two weeks before the October 2018 altercation and was back for a follow up. He was prescribed more medication by his doctor and his attorney said he was trying to get to the pharmacy when the encounter happened.

"They just chose not to give him access to the pharmacy," Balaban said.

Balaban said his client, a father of three, is homeless and was in the restroom when someone complained to security earlier in the day.

"They just were ticked off that he was ticked off and had enough of him," Balaban said.

The beating landed Simpson back in the hospital for four days.

"After they choke him out, and he's rendered unconscious, he's put into a wheelchair like a dog," Balaban said. "At some point [he was] woken up by the medical staff with smelling salts, he awakes, he's startled, so they take him down again."

Balaban said when he saw the video, it reminded him of the George Floyd video.

"I couldn't believe it," he said. "This was almost two years prior, and there they are right on this guy's neck, him struggling for air saying he can't breathe."

Balaban is suing Loma Linda University Medical Center that hired the security guards as well as Allied Universal Security Services that provided the other guards.

"It was a needless, awful tragedy that shouldn't have happened," Balaban said.

Balaban did not give a specific amount they are looking for in the lawsuit, but said Simpson was in need of additional medical care and the lawsuit was also looking to obtain housing assistance.

The hospital initially pressed charges against Simpson for trespassing and battering a security guard, but a jury acquitted him of all the charges last July.

The hospital said it could not comment on pending litigation.

Allied did not immediately return a request for comment.

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