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Ohio Negligent Shackling Claim Remanded

By Brandon Sample

On April 8, 2010, the Court of Appeals of Ohio remanded a prisoner’s negligence claim against the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRD).

Jack Nott sued the ODRC after his left leg was amputated from the knee down. In 2003, Nott was transported by guards from Grafton Correctional Institution (GCI) to Corrections Medical Center in order to obtain some glasses. Nott, who is diabetic, was forced to wear leg irons and given canvas shoes, one which Nott claimed was worn and did not fit.

Nott contended that he injured his left foot on the trip, stepping into something. His left foot was bare at the time, Nott alleged, because the shoe he was given would not fit. In addition, Nott’s ankles were hurt from the shackles.

When Nott returned to GCI, he was examined by a nurse, Nott did not tell the nurse about his alleged injury to this foot. The nurse, however, noted the damage to Nott’s ankle.
The Court of Claims rejected Nott’s negligence claim surrounding the guard’s failure to provide Nott with proper footwear. According to the court, Nott failed to show that he had actually injured his foot during the trip. In so holding, the court pointed to the fact that Nott did not report any injury to his foot when being examined by the nurse upon returning to GCI. The Court of Claims, however, did not address Nott’s shackling claim.

On appeal, the Ohio Court of Appeals found no error in the lower court’s judgment with respect to Nott’s shoe claim. The court reversed and remanded Nott’s shackling claim, though, because the Court of Claims failed to consider it. See: Nott v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, 2010 Ohio 1588, No. 09- AD-842 (Ct. Appeals Ohio -- 10th Dist. 2010).

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Related legal case

Nott v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction