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New York: Nassau County Settles With Assaulted Prisoner For $98,500

On February 27, 2001, Nassau County, New York, settled with a former
prisoner who had been assaulted by another prisoner for $98,500.

While imprisoned in the Nassau County Correctional Facility on a 90-day
sentence for DUI, plaintiff Darrin Rydberg claimed that on May 16, 1996, he
was assaulted by another prisoner in a bathroom located in an open-style
trustee dormitory. Rydberg alleged that the night before the assault, he
and the other prisoner had gotten into a heated argument over the
television and that a guard was present during the dispute.

At dinner the next day, according to Rydberg, the other prisoner shoved
him, causing him to drop his food tray. Rydberg claimed that a guard,
Bullock, observed the incident but did nothing. Twenty minutes later, the
other prisoner attacked Rydberg in the bathroom.

Rydberg claimed that Bullock breached proper procedure when he did not send
the attacker back to the general population. Rydberg further claimed that
the two guards on duty were not supervising the prisoners. Another prisoner
testified that during the assault the guards were watching television in
the office and that they had covered the windows with newspapers for privacy.

Rydberg claimed that his right mandible was fractured during the assault
and that his right shoulder was dislocated. Open reduction surgery was
performed on the fractured mandible, during which a plate and screws were
inserted. Rydberg claimed that he continues to experience numbness below
the lower right lip and sensitivity to hot and cold foods.

A 6-member jury found the county liable in June 2000. The county settled
for $98,500 after the liability verdict. Rydberg was represented by Adam M.
Orlow of the Law Offices of Steven S. Orlow, Flushing New York. See:
Rydberg v. County of Nassau, Nassau Supreme Court, Case No. 8669/97.

Source: VerdictSearch New York Reporter

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Related legal case

Rydberg v. County of Nassau