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New York Prisoner Awarded $5,250 for Prison Welding Shop Injury

On July 27, 2004, the Court of Claims in Rochester, New York, awarded Noel Atkinson, a New York state prisoner, $5,250 for past pain and suffering due to an injury he received while working in a welding shop at the Cape Vincent Correctional Facility. During the bench trial, Judge Phillip J. Patti also found 30% comparative negligence against Atkinson. Therefore, he reduced the award to $3,675.

Atkinson was injured on July 29, 1996, when he received cuts and bruises on his left ankle and foot and his left foot's fifth metatarsal was fractured. He was treated at the prison's infirmary and an outside hospital, but complained of continuous pain which temporarily prevented him from running and sports activities. He filed suit alleging an unsafe workplace and won his case on liability during a bench trial on Sept. 22, 2003.

At trial, it was proven that Atkinson entered the prison system with drop foot and had to wear a leg brace if he wore sneakers. The court found no evidence of long-term disability or future pain since the fracture had healed smoothly.

The court also awarded Atkinson post-judgment interest backdated to the date of the liability decision. He was represented by attorney Bernard
B. Schachne. See: Atkinson v. State of New York, No. 96282, Court of Claims, Rochester, New York, 7/27/04.

Source: VerdictSearch- New York.

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Related legal case

Atkinson v. State of New York