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$3.2 Million Awarded to New York Jail Prisoner in Work Accident

On October 18, 2002, a Queens county, New York, jury awarded Ronald York, a 21 year old prisoner at the New York City jail on Riker's Island, $3.2 million in damages as compensation for a work injury. Ronald York was a prisoner employed in the jail bakery when guards instructed him to dump several 100-pound bags of flour into a sifting machine. He was told to push the flour down with his hands if the machine clogged.

When the machine clogged, York did as he was instructed and pushed the flour down. In doing so, the machine severed three of his fingers. York filed suit in state court claiming he was improperly trained and that the machine did not have any warnings and was not equipped with safety guards or any type of interlocking system to prevent access to the machine's moving parts when it was in operation.

A jury agreed with York and found the city liable for his injuries and awarded him $3.2 million in damages. York was represented by Paul Schlemmer of Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath and Cannavo in New York City. See: York v. City of New York, Queens County Supreme Court case number 23954/98.

Source: National Jury Verdict Reporter

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Related legal case

York v. City of New York