VENTURA, Calif. (CN) – A man says in court that he volunteered to test a new police breathalyzer, but the lab technician got him drunk and left him unattended in a truck where he fell and mangled his finger on an air conditioner blade.
John Anthony Capella says he volunteered in March to test the Ventura County Sheriff Department’s new breathalyzer for drunken drivers.
After lab technician Kevin Zieldorf gave Capella “large quantities of alcohol,” he took the subject to a refrigerated truck in the sheriff’s department parking lot, according to the complaint.
“The handler [Zieldorf] was setting up the breathalyzer and left plaintiff [Capella] unattended,” the Superior Court complaint states. “Plaintiff, who was left standing and leaning against one of the inside walls of the truck then attempted to walk over to his handler when the latter indicated to plaintiff that he was ready for him. However due to plaintiff’s inebriated state, his balance was impaired and when he pushed off the wall, he lost his balance and fell forward. Plaintiff grabbed the first thing he could find to stop his fall but it was an air conditioning condenser which was attached to the inside of the truck. Plaintiff’s finger was mangled from the sharp blade of the air conditioning unit.”
Capella named Zieldorf, Ventura County and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department as defendants.
He seeks damages for negligence, and for dangerous condition of public property.
Capella is represented by attorney Steven Effres of Woodland Hills, Calif.
Neither Effres nor the sheriff’s department returned requests for comment.