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$35,000 Settlement in New York Jail Cell Door Injury

On November 25, 2002, the New York City Department of Corrections settled a prisoner's personal injury suit by agreeing to pay $35,000. Rasheed Bolden was a 24 year old prisoner in the Rikers Island Jail. On October 22, 1994, a jail lockdown was instituted and Bolden's finger was caught in a gate to his cell which was manually closed during lockdowns. Bolden's finger was stuck in the gate for six minutes before it was released. He suffered a fracture to the tip of his middle finger on his dominant hand.

Bolden filed suit claiming jail guards were negligent for closing the gate on his hand because the guard who closed the gate was standing ten feet away when it occurred. He also claimed similar injuries had previously occurred. The case went to trial and a five woman, one man jury found the city liable for Bolden's injury after deliberating for 70 minutes. The jail decided to settle the case before the jury could rule on damages in the case by agreeing to pay Bolden $35,000. Bolden was represented by New York attorney Michael David. Prior to trial the jail had offered Bolden $2,500 to settle the case; Bolden had initially demanded $30,000. See: Bolden v. City of New York, Queens Supreme Court Case No. 3608/97.

Source: New York Jury Verdict Reporter

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Related legal case

Bolden v. City of New York