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New York City Settles Prisoner-On-Prisoner Assault for $180,000

On October 23, 2006, the City of New York agreed to pay $180,000 to a prisoner who suffered facial injuries as the result of an attack by another prisoner.

City prisoner Ivan Miller, 34, claimed that on June 30, 1998, while imprisoned at the Brooklyn House of Detention he was assaulted by another prisoner. Miller claimed that he and the other prisoner had been involved in a dispute earlier in the day; therefore, jailers were aware of a problem and should have separated the two prisoners.

Instead, according to Miller, a jailer let him and the other prisoners out of their cells later in the day in order to watch them fight. As a result of the altercation Miller was transported to a local hospital by ambulance. He suffered facial injuries that required surgical repair of the orbital floor. Miller claimed that he continues to suffer numbness in his lower lip and pain in his jaw on rainy days.

The City?s attorney claimed the dispute earlier in the day consisted of nothing more than uneasy looks and that the assault was sudden and unforeseeable.

Following the liability portion of a bifurcated trial in which the jury found the City 65% liable and the assailant $35% liable, the City decided to settle the case for $180,000. Judge Wayne P. Saitta presided.

Miller was represented by Adam M. Orlow of the Flushing, New York, law firm Orlow, Orlow & Orlow. See: Miller v. City of New York, Kings County Supreme Court, Case No. 33387/99.

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Related legal case

Miller v. City of New York