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$5 Million Awarded in New York Prison Stabbing

In December, 1995, a jury in the New York state court of claims awarded former prisoner Anthony Barrett $5,180,645 in damages for pain and suffering, lost income and expenses. In 1987 Barrett was left paralyzed after being stabbed in the back by a prisoner at the Auburn Correctional Facility. The stabbing took place outside the prison mess hall where Barrett and 40 other prisoners were crowded together and being searched for weapons because another prisoner had been stabbed earlier that day.

Barrett claimed that the DOCS had failed to inform other employees of the search which created a dangerous congestion. Barrett's spine was severed during the stabbing and he is confined to a wheelchair. Three months after the stabbing he was paroled. In May, 1994, state judge Israel Margolis had ruled the state was liable for failing to protect Barrett. The New York attorney generals office announced it would consider appealing the jury award, the largest ever made to a New York state prisoner.

Source: Corrections Digest

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