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$3 in Damages, $1,920 in Costs Awarded to Stabbed, Disabled Prisoner

The plaintiff, a paraplegic, alleged that he was assaulted and stabbed by another prisoner with staff complicity. The jury found that a defendant had conspired to violate the Eighth Amendment and awarded $1.00 nominal, $1.00 compensatory and $1.00 punitive damages. Since the jury found that this defendant did not carry through on the conspiracy, its finding that he was not liable for the resulting injury "cannot be deemed a miscarriage of justice." (281)

The low award of punitive damages is acceptable on these facts, which include the fact that the defendant is dead and no deterrent purpose would be served by a larger award.

The defendant is liable for costs, but not for typewriter ribbons and a new typewriter or for postage. The cost of photocopying is granted. Costs that the plaintiff did not document, allegedly because prison officials lost his records, are not awarded because there were other ways the plaintiff could have obtained documentation of them. He is awarded $1,920.13 in photocopying expenses, since the defendants did not dispute these costs and "the record is thick with motions and responses" that had to be served on court and parties. See: Candelaria v. Coughlin, 181 F.R.D. 278 (S.D.N.Y. 1998).

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Related legal case

Candelaria v. Coughlin