Traversie trial begins in federal court

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He's accusing Rapid City Regional Hospital employees of marking his stomach with the letters KKK following an open heart surgery back in 2011.

Monday, 71–year old Vernon Traversie of Eagle Butte finally began his day in federal court in a civil case.
Traversie claims the hospital discriminated against him because he is Native American ... interfered with his health care because of his race, committed battery against him and inflicted emotional damage to him.
In his opening statement Traversie's attorney, Anthony Broadman, said the evidence will show that the K's on his stomach were either burned or scratched in.

Broadman says a surgeon will testify that the marks were not caused by tape.
He says Traversie wants justice and peace.
In his opening statement, Regional Hospital attorney Jeff Hurd said the marks were caused by tape placed there after the surgery.
Hurd says no one saw the marks as K's until Traversie's minister saw him in the hospital in Eagle Butte.
Hurd says the allegations are simply not true.

Traversie was the first witness called Monday afternoon.
He said he's been praying for three years and seven months for this day to come so he could tell his story to the jury.
He says he did not give the hospital permission to torture him and cause him pain.
The trial could last two weeks.

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