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Washington State Settles Excessive Force/Injury Suit for $2,000

On October 30, 2008, the State of Washington settled for $2,000 the federal suit of a prisoner injured by a guard's alleged excessive use of force.

Larry Gene Heggem, a Washington state prisoner, was confined in segregation when he was allegedly assaulted by guard Brandon Kelley at the Washington State Penitentiary. According to Heggem's complaint, he was backing up to his cell door to be uncuffed when Kelly, who felt that he was backing up too slow, pulled on the escort rope. This caused Heggem to become unstable, forcing him to take a step forward, away from the door, to regain his balance. The forward step so incensed Kelly that he yanked hard on the escort rope, forcing Heggem's hands through the slot in the door and at an acute upward angle and injuring his wrists and hands.

Kelly quickly uncuffed Heggem and left without realizing the extent of his injuries. When Heggem complained of the injuries, he received medical treatment and the injuries were photographed. Kelly then wrote a disciplinary offense report against Heggem for resisting uncuffing.

Heggem filed a pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in federal district court complaining of permanent injury and scarring. The state settled the suit for $2,000.
See: Heggem v. Kelly, U.S.D.C. (E.D. Wash.), No. CV-07-258-LRS

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Related legal case

Heggem v. Kelly