South Dakota jury in civil trial finds hospital not liable for 'KKK' scars on man's stomach

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RAPID CITY, South Dakota — A federal jury has found that a South Dakota hospital is not liable in a case in which a man claimed health care workers carved the letters "KKK" into his stomach during heart surgery in 2011.

Jurors ruled in favor of Rapid City Regional Hospital on Friday after five hours of deliberation.

The hospital maintained that the marks on Vern Traversie's abdomen were the result of a skin reaction to medical tape.

The Rapid City Journal reports that the 71-year-old sued the hospital for alleged violations of civil rights, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Traversie is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

State and federal authorities earlier concluded there was no criminal wrongdoing.

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