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Federal Prisoner's Suit Settles For $1,500 after Falling From Bunk

Virginia federal prisoner Glen Francis brought a federal tort action in 1995 for $200,000 after being injured at FCI Petersburg while climbing down from his bunk. The suit settled for $1,500.

Francis was on his top bunk when FCI Petersburg guards announced that it was time for head count. Given only a short time to muster, the prisoners all hustled from the television room and through a doorway where Francis's bunk was positioned. The prisoners allegedly collided with him as he tried to climb down for count, causing him to fall, breaking his wrist and injuring his back. Guards told him to stay on the floor until count was completed. A half an hour later, prisoners put Francis onto a stretcher and took him to medical. He received only pain killers. No exam was performed and a bottom floor, bottom bunk assignment was denied, leaving him to rely on prisoners to help him in and out of his bunk daily. Francis brought suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act against the Bureau of Prisons, the United States and the facility warden, alleging reckless endangerment, breach of a duty of care, pain and suffering, and sleep deprivation.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia approved the settlement with no admission of guilt. FCI Petersburg was ordered to provide an MRI and to provide adequate medical care for as long as Francis was incarcerated in the federal system. Each party was to pay their own costs and fees. See: Francis v. Ortiz, USDC, E.D. Va., Case No. 3:95 cv 267 (February 5, 1996).

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Related legal case

Francis v. Ortiz

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