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Maricopa County Settles Prisoner's Brain Injury Suit for $4 Million

In August 2005, Maricopa County, Arizona, settled for $4 million a lawsuit brought by the representative of a former Maricopa County Jail prisoner who received permanent debilitating brain injury after being beaten by another prisoner.

On September 20, 2001, Scott Allen Ludlow was a prisoner in the Maricopa County Jail. Because he had suicidal ideation, he was housed in the psychiatric evaluation unit of the Madison Street Jail under 23-hour-a-day lockdown. Jail personnel required Ludlow to be housed with James Ames, another prisoner with suicidal ideation who had a well-known, lengthy history of violently assaulting guards and other prisoners. Ames assaulted Ludlow.

Even though they observed Ludlow unconscious on the floor of the cell in a pool of blood being beaten by Ames, jail personnel failed to intervene in a timely fashion or take any other steps to stop the assault. Ludlow experienced severe brain trauma and was in a deep coma for months. He developed permanent brain injury that rendered him incapable of caring for himself.

Court-appointed guardian and conservator Starr Bucks filed a state tort lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court on Ludlow's behalf. Attorneys John C. Kubasch of Scottsdale, Arizona and Jason D. Lamm of Phoenix, Arizona represented Ludlow. Maricopa County and its insurer, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, settled the suit for $4 million.

See: Ludlow v. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, Ariz. Superior Court, Maricopa Co., No. CV2002-018323.

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Related legal case

Ludlow v. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office