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Los Angeles Jail Pays $375,000 To Assaulted Keep Away Prisoner

Los Angeles Jail Pays $375,000 To Assaulted Keep Away Prisoner

Los Angeles County, California, should pay $375,000 to a former prisoner who was severely beaten after being improperly celled with his assailant, the County Claims Board recommended on December 8, 2005.

On May 13, 2002, prisoner Martin Davis was transported from the Mens Central Jail to the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Courts Building to testify against another prisoner, Joseph Allen. Davis and Allen were designated as keep aways, meaning they shouldnt be placed together in the same cell.

After testifying Davis was placed in a holding cell to await transfer back to the jail. Sometime later Allen was also placed in the same cell. Allen recognized Davis sleeping on the floor and attacked him with his feet.
Davis spent the next week in the hospital, where he remained in a shallow coma for the first three days. Davis was released from custody shortly after returning to the jail.

The County Claims Board noted that a jury could reasonably conclude that Daviss civil rights were violated by the failure to carry out the Sheriffs keep away policy. In addition, a neuropsychologist retained by the County determined that Davis suffered a closed head injury with residual short-term memory impairment. It is unknown if that would impact his ability to testify against others in the future.

The $375,000 settlement includes $200,000 in damages for Davis and $175,000 for his attorneys fees and costs. In making the recommendation the Board observed that a jury award could exceed the recommended settlement amount and that the County had already spent more than $111,000 defending the case. See: Davis v. County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC 295561.

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Related legal case

Davis v. County of Los Angeles