DELANO, Calif. (CN) – A widow claims her husband bled to death after being stabbed in the leg by a fighting rooster at a cockfight. She sued the Delano Regional Medical Center and the man she says organized the cockfight.
Ofelia Ochoa claims defendant John Cabrera hosted the cockfight on his property on Jan. 30. “Defendant John Cabrera had prepared the premises for cockfighting and had the premises fenced off to permit only those he wanted onto the premises and provided men to maintain the grounds and provide security,” Ochoa says in her complaint in Kern County Court. “Said property was used as a cockfighting venue in a remote area to allow the cockfights without law enforcement finding it.”
Illegal in most states, cockfighting is popular along the U.S. southern border, and in California’s Central Valley. Razor-sharp spurs are attached to the cocks, who fight to the death in matches that typically feature heavy betting.
Ochoa claims that Cabrera “conducted the event in such a way as to reduce all costs regardless of the safety consequences to those present. Said defendant kept the fighting roosters in an area where they were not contained and were able to be in contact with people at the premises.”
She says her late husband “was not a participant in, nor did he have any animals at the events taking place on said defendant’s property.”
The late Jose Luis Ochoa died as a result of “a fighting rooster with a long razor-sharp spur attached, [which] struck decedent’s calf, resulting in a cut to the blood vein.”
Ochoa says her husband went to the emergency room at the Delano Regional Medical Center, which was a 10-minute drive from Cabrera’s cockfighting site.
There, she says, “after doing a ‘triage assessment’ of decedent, defendant DRMC staff placed him on a gurney and wheeled him in the back, thereafter providing decent without any care.” She says he bled to death in the emergency room, “where family members believed he was being properly cared for … due to the total failure of medical care for which decedent went to the hospital to receive.”
The widow and her four children seek economic damages and costs of medical care and funeral expenses. They are represented by Steve Nichols with Young & Nichols, of Bakersfield.