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$15,000 Settlement For BOP's Abuse, Conspiracy Against Government Informant

Colorado federal prisoner and government informant, David Merritt, brought a federal tort action against the United States in 1999 after federal guards and officials at the Florence Supermax (ADX) facility conspired to have him killed, violated his constitutional rights and hindered his eligibility for parole. The suit settled for $15,000, restored good time and assistance in his placement in community corrections.

Merritt's alleged harassment and attempted murder began in 1996 and continued regularly due to his "government informant" status. He testified in many cases against prisoners and Bureau of Prisons (BOP) personnel in various states. ADX guards and officials allegedly caused his parole denial, assaulted him, denied his medical needs, left him in a 50 degree cell naked for days without food, subjected him to many hearings, read his legal work, refused him protection, revealed his "snitch status," conspired to have him killed and covered these actions up. Merritt brought the action in 1999 for various violations of his constitutional rights under the Federal Tort Claims Act requesting: $100,000 for dental injuries; compensatory damages of $300,000 from the individual defendants; and $50,000 punitive damages against the BOP.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado authorized the $15,000 settlement in 2002 with a stipulation for no admission of guilt awarding Merritt: 100 days of forfeited statutory good time credit; 30 days forfeited good time credit for each month his record was free of infractions; insurance with community corrections placement cooperation; transfer to a facility commensurate with his needs; and the implementation of a list of prisoners who he needed protection from. See: Merritt v. United States, USDC, D. Colo., Case No. 99 cv 2402 (Mar. 1, 2002).

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Related legal case

Merritt v. United States

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