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Wisconsin Prison Employee Raped By Prisoner Awarded $366,000

On April 8, 2005, a federal jury awarded $366,000 to a Wisconsin prison employee who was raped by a prisoner.

The 51-year-old female plaintiff, a non-security employee of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections was raped by a knife-wielding prisoner on December 28, 2001. Eight days prior to the attack, the plaintiff contended, she had expressed fears about the prisoner to her supervisors.

The plaintiff sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 alleging that prison officials subjected her to a hostile work environment when they allowed the prisoner access to her despite her fears. The defendants claimed there was insufficient evidence to support a hostile work environment claim. However, the plaintiff argued that the prison system's own policies indicated that supervisors are required to investigate any" expressions of concern by employees, which they failed to do.

After deliberating for four hours, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin found for the plaintiff and awarded her a total of $366,000: $66,000 in lost wages and medical expenses, $250,000 in past pain and suffering, and $50,000 in future pain and suffering.
The plaintiff was represented by Robert J. Kasieta, C. Houston Parrish, and Marc McCrory of Kasieta Legal Group in Madison, Wisconsin. See: Doe v. Wisconsin Department of Corrections, USDC WD WI, Case No. 04CO265C.

Source: National Jury Verdict Review & Analysis

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Related legal case

Doe v. Wisconsin Department of Corrections