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Maywood, Illinois Jail Settles Failure to Protect Suit For $750,000

The Village of Maywood, Illinois, paid $750,000 to settle with a former Maywood prisoner who was severely beaten by his cellmate at the village jail, according to a January 19, 2006, settlement agreement.

George Caithamer, 22, was arrested by Maywood police in June 2004 for a traffic violation. He was taken to the village jail and placed in a holding cell with Marcus Hrobowski, a mentally ill man with a known propensity for violence.

According to Caithamer's complaint, Hrobowski beat him for at least 20 minutes as he screamed and waved to the security camera for help. As a result of the beating Caithamer was taken to a local hospital and treated for a concussion and other injuries. The surveillance video revealed that Caithamer was hit more than 60 times.

Hrobowski was charged with aggravated battery after the beating, but he was later found not guilty by reason of insanity. He now lives at a mental health facility, said Amanda Yarusso, Caithamer's attorney.

Caithamer sued the Village of Maywood and a number of Village police officers in their individual capacities. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, alleged claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law. Caithamer specifically claimed the officers failed to protect him and that the Village's inadequate customs, policies, and practices constituted deliberate indifference to his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights.

Attorney fees were included in the $750,000 settlement. Caithamer's attorney, Amanda Yarusso, is affiliated with The Law Offices Of Blake Horwitz in Chicago. See: Caithamer v. Collier, USDC ND IL, Case No. 04-C-5859.

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Related legal case

Caithamer v. Collier