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Washington DOC Pays $60,000 in Prisoner Work Injury

In November of 1999, the State of Washington and the Department of Corrections paid George Vilsack $60,000. On August 4, 1995, Vilsack, a prisoner Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington fell from a scaffolding. Vilsack was instructed by the DOC to paint on the outside of a building at the facility. As Vilsack had no experience painting outside but only inside, he lacked the proper instructions to using or setting up the available scaffolding equipment. After Vilsack and another crew member set up the scaffolding, Vilsack climbed up the scaffolding and began painting the outside of the building. As Vilsack painted, he inadvertently leaned against a side rail of the scaffolding, the rail broke, came apart or gave way and Vilsack fell approximately 18 feet to the ground. Vilsack alleges that there were no harnesses, safety belts, or safety lines. As a result, Vilsack suffered unspecified severe and permanent injuries that required medical treatment and hospitalization. Vilsack filed suit claiming that the Washington DOC was negligent and in July of 1998, Vilsack, through his attorney Micheal D. Jensen of Tacoma was paid $60,000 by the Washington DOC to settle the case. See: Vilsack v. State of Washington and the Department of Corrections, Thurston County Superior Court No. 98-2-01688-1.

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Related legal case

Vilsack v. State of Washington Dept of Corrections