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$55,503 Settlement for Barefoot California Prisoner

On December 27, 1999, San Francisco County, California, settled for $55,503
a prisoner's federal lawsuit that alleged he was denied footwear for three
months while in the county jail and that he was treated with deliberate
indifference by jail medical personnel after his foot was broken.
In September 1997, plaintiff Craig A. Knight escaped from the San Francisco
County Jail. When he was recaptured several days later, his shoes were
confiscated and he was not provided replacements. He remained barefoot for
the next three months despite repeated complaints.

On October 30, 1997, as Knight was walking in the gym, a handball player
stepped on his foot. Knight fell hard, sustaining fractures to his foot and
orbital cavity. Even so, it was more than 30 hours before Knight was seen
by a doctor.

Knight sued in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California, claiming the jail's failure to provide him with shoes violated
his constitutional rights. Knight further claimed deliberate indifference
to his serious medical needs.

The case settled for $55,503 ($15,000 in compensatory damages, $37,496 in
fees and $3,007 in costs) while plaintiff's appeal was pending. Knight had
filed an interlocutory appeal after the court granted the defendant
sheriff's motion to dismiss based on Eleventh Amendment immunity. The jail
also agreed to reword their policy and procedure manual on prisoners'
rights to acknowledge the right of prisoners to be provided with footwear.
Knight was represented by attorney Kenneth Frucht of San Francisco,
California. See: Knight v. County of San Francisco, USDC ND CA, Case No.
CV98 2268 (CRB).

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Related legal case

Knight v. County of San Francisco