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New York State Prisoner Awarded $1,000 For Work Related Knife Injury

On June 26, 2002, a state court of claims awarded New York state prisoner
Jose Santiago $1,000 for a knife injury he sustained while working in the
prison butcher shop. The injury required two stitches.

While working in the prison butcher shop at the Sullivan Correctional
Facility on January 29, 2000, Santiago cut his finger with a boning knife.
Santiago contended that a prison security policy, newly implemented at the
time of the accident, required all knives to be tethered to the legs of the
work tables.

Santiago testified that because of the tether, the only place he could set
down the knife was next to the cutting surface; Santiago had been
explicitly trained not to do this because the knife could be exposed to
bacteria. Santiago alleged that after deboning a piece of meat he moved to
discard the bone, picking it up in the same hand he held the knife in,
which he was forced to do because the tether prevented him from setting
down the knife. As he moved to discard the bone, his arm was stopped short
by the cable and the knife cut his finger. The prison food administrator
admitted that Santiago had complained about the tether prior to the accident.

In his pro se lawsuit, Santiago contended that he had no feeling in the tip
of his finger, but admitted that his daily activities were not impaired
by the injury. Santiago, who provided no medical testimony, was awarded
$1,000. See: Santiago v. State of New York, Court of Claims, New York, Case
No. 102096.

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Related legal case

Santiago v. State of New York