Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

New York Prisoner Awarded $2,600 For Fractured Fibula, Improper Treatment

On March 28, 2001, a court of claims in Albany, New York, awarded $2,600 to a state prisoner who claimed he suffered a fractured fibula when he fell in a puddle of water leaked from a washing machine and that treatment by prison medical staff was insufficient.

After he slipped, prisoner David Wood reported to the infirmary complaining that he had twisted his left leg and ankle. Wood was examined and given Tylenol, crutches, and an ice wrap. Wood returned to the infirmary several times complaining of pain. An x-ray was finally taken two days later and revealed a broken fibula. On April 17, 2001, a nurse observed Wood walking without the crutches. She summarily determined they weren?t medically necessary and had them confiscated. Wood claimed he hadn?t been using the crutches because they were six inches too short. He was given proper crutches on April 23, 2001, after writing the medical administrator.

Wood sued the state of New York, pro se, claiming the prison medical staff failed to properly treat his condition--which constituted malpractice--and failed to properly maintain the washing machines. Wood further claimed the medical staff?s failure to issue the proper sized crutches prolonged his recovery.

Judge Judith Hard held that the prison had in fact failed to issue Wood the proper sized crutches. She noted that expert testimony, which Wood failed to provide, was unnecessary because the nursing staff admitted the crutches were too short. As such, Hard awarded Wood $100 per day from the date of his March 28 injury through April 23, the date he was issued the proper crutches. Total award: $2,600. Wood?s premises liability claim failed, however, because he provided no in-trial proof, Hard held. See: Wood v. The State of New York, Albany Court of Claims, Case No. 105970.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Wood v. The State of New York