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Illinois Jail Prisoner Beaten By Gang Members Awarded $775,000

On July 24, 2003, a federal jury in Chicago, Illinois, awarded $775,000 to
a man who was beaten by gang members while imprisoned in the Cook County Jail.

Plaintiff Stanley Jones, 57, claimed that on March 7, 1999, CCJ jailers
placed him in a general population tank comprised of 90% gang members.
Jones, who does not belong to a gang, alleged that as he was sitting at a
table in the dayroom two gang members approached his table to sit down.
When he did not immediately move, Jones claims, he was attacked. As a
result of the beating Jones suffered bruises and contusions, a dislocated
shoulder, and a broken wrist.

Jones sued the County and various jail officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
claiming they were negligent in failing to take reasonable measures in
protecting him. He also alleged he was placed in the pod with gang members
in retaliation for complaining about jail conditions. The defendants
claimed, among other things, that Jones was assaulted because he was
accused of sexually assaulting another prisoner. (Jones was subsequently
convicted of the sexual assault.)

A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
rejected Jones' retaliation claim, but found Sheriff Michael Sheahan, in
his official capacity, and jail director Ernesto Velasco and superintendent
James Edwards, in their official and individual capacities, liable for
negligence and awarded Jones a total of $775,000. The award consisted of
$25,000 in compensatory damages for pain and suffering, and $750,000 in
punitive damages against Velasco and Edwards.

At trial Craig Beyer of Granite City, Illinois, provided expert testimony
for Jones. Jones was represented by attorneys Kimball R. Anderson, Marlon
D. Moffett, and Kimberly M. Reed of Winston & Strewn; Laura D. Cullison;
and Mark B. Weiner of Gessler, Hughes, Socal, Piers, Resnick & Dym, all of
Chicago. See: Jones v. Sheahan, USDC ND IL, Case No. 99CV3669.

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Related legal case

Jones v. Sheahan