It’s been a busy month for our prisoners’ rights practice! The Sivin & Miller team was in The Bronx for two Riker’s Island prisoner abuse cases as well as upstate New York to conduct extremely complicated federal court ordered discovery on several cases arising out of prison guard brutality at Attica and other upstate prisons. Both Riker’s Island cases ended with huge success! One, a civil rights deliberate indifference case, settled on the eve of trial. It involved a corrections officer who stood by for several minutes as he observed our client (who weighed 140 pounds and was in a drug treatment program) get beaten by a larger and stronger prisoner. Our client’s jaw was broken in two places and required surgery to install permanent plates and screws to keep his jaw stable. The other Riker’s Island case, a civil rights excessive force case, was decided by a jury after a four day trial. Our client was beaten, while handcuffed, by a gang of corrections officers who were concerned that our client would snitch on one of their fellow officers. The one officer whom plaintiff was able to identify denied the allegations, but the jury correctly saw otherwise and decided in favor of our client with both a very well thought out compensatory damages award and an award for PUNITIVE DAMAGES against the defendant corrections officer. We were pleased with the outcome and excited to see the jury send a message to the Department of Corrections.
The attorneys at Sivin & Miller continue to monitor the ongoing problem of city and state corrections officers violating the constitutional rights of those in their charge. We will continue to reach out to our followers with updates on our cases and on efforts to close Riker’s Island for good.