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Lakota man sues SD hospital over surgical scars

San Francisco Chronicle / Associated Press, July 18, 2012

A lawyer for 69-year-old Vern Traversie, a Lakota man who lives on the Cheyenne River Reservation, who claims the letters KKK were carved into his stomach during surgery has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the South Dakota hospital where the operation took place, the hospital's board of directors and others. Chase Iron Eyes, a lawyer for Traversie, filed a lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in South Dakota against Rapid City Regional Hospital, its board of directors, physicians and TRS Surg Assist Inc. The lawsuit alleges a civil rights violation based on race and cites the scarring from Traversie's double-bypass surgery done in August 2011 as evidence. It seeks a jury trial and damages.