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$1,000,000 Award for Attorney’s Failure to Prosecute Prisoner’s Lawsuit

$1,000,000 Award for Attorney's Failure to Prosecute Prisoner's Lawsuit

On January 4, 2006, a Boston Superior Court awarded a $1,000,000 judgment against an attorney for failing to prosecute a lawsuit on behalf of a prisoner at Massachusetts' Suffolk House of Correction (SHC).

While incarcerated at SHC, Maria Perez was raped by a guard in 1999. She hired attorney Stanley E. Greenidge to prosecute a lawsuit on her behalf against the perpetrator and the Suffolk County Sheriff. Perez claimed she contracted a sexually transmitted disease, suffered emotional distress, and was in fear of further sexual torment because of the incident.

Other female prisoners at SHC were assaulted during the same time period; three guards were terminated, including Perez's assailant. Greenidge filed the suit and advised Perez it was progressing.

Perez's case, however, was dismissed for want of prosecution because the defendants were never served. She then filed another lawsuit accusing Greenidge of negligence in mishandling her case and for failing to file a timely complaint against the Sheriff in federal court.

At a bench trial, Greenidge was found to have committed legal malpractice, and the Superior Court awarded Perez $500,000. That judgment "was doubled to $1,000,000 pursuant to G.L.c. 93A [the state's Consumer Protection Act]." See: Perez v. Greenidge, Superior Court, Boston, Case No. 05-0963A.

Greenidge had previously been publicly reprimanded by the Board of Bar Overseers on March 18, 2003 for lying to a client about having filing lawsuits in federal and state courts.

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Related legal case

Perez v. Greenidge