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WA DOC Pays $102,000 to Wife Stabbed During Conjugal Visit

The Washington Department of Corrections settled a lawsuit filed in
Thurston county superior court by Heather Hiivala alleging negligence in
providing for her safety and under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In 1995 she was
engaged in a conjugal visit with her husband, Todd Hiivala, at the Clallam
Bay Correctional Center, when he threatened her with a 10" kitchen knife
supplied by the prison in the visiting trailer. Heather exited the trailer,
asked guards to release her from the visiting area and was then stabbed
numerous times by Todd in the face, neck, chest, hands and arms. A guard in
a tower shot and wounded Todd with a high powered rifle, ending the attack.
On October 20, 1998, the court approved the settlement agreement awarding
Heather $102,000. Heather was represented by attorneys Mark Steed of
Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she lived, and Carl Taylor Lopez of Lopez and
Fantel in Seattle. As a result of the attack the Washington DOC
significantly curtailed its family visiting program. The attack occurred
the day before the opening of the legislative session where a bill to
eliminate family visits had been prefiled. See: Hiivala v. State of
Washington, Thurston County Superior Court, Case No. 95-20¬03476-1.

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Related legal case

Hiivala v. State of Washington

no case text.