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New York Prisoner Awarded $2,760 for Improper Confinement/Denial Medical Care

New York Prisoner Awarded $2,760 for Improper
Confinement/Denial Medical Care

The New York Court of Claims in Rochester has awarded prisoner Patrick Vaughn $2,760 on his claim that he was unlawfully confined and that his medical condition was not properly addressed.

After a guard called him a rapist in front of other prisoners, Vaughn wrote a letter to the captain threatening the guard, hoping he would be transferred. Vaughn, instead, was issued a disciplinary report, which the captain presided over, sentencing Vaughn to 84 days of special-housing-unit (SHU) confinement. The acting director affirmed the captains decision. The director, however, administratively reversed the decision after Vaughns sentence was over, agreeing with Vaughn that policy prohibited the captain to preside over the hearing.

When placed in SHU at Lakeview Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility, he was placed in a top bunk. Vaughn suffered a chronic back condition that was evidenced by a doctors report and permanent medical restriction. Despite being shown that restriction coupled with Vaughns complaints of back pain, guards refused to move him to a low bunk and his grievances requesting same were denied.

On March 29, 2005, the Court of Claims found the State violated its own rules and regulations when the captain presided over the disciplinary hearing. As such, the state lost its absolute immunity. Vaughn was awarded $1,250 for his 84 days of improper confinement or $15 for each day. Because the state violated Vaughns medical restriction without further medical examination, Vaughn was awarded $1,500 for pain and suffering experienced getting in and out of his upper bunk.

See: Vaughn v. New York, Court of Claims, Rochester, Case No: 108937.

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Related legal case

Vaughn v. New York