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$28,000 Settlement Reached in Abuse Case at Youth Facility

A $28,000 settlement was reached in a civil rights action claiming 8th Amendment violations at a New York youth facility. Prisoner Corey Devance Lewis was incarcerated at the Tryon Residential Center on February 6, 2001 when he exchanged words with guards Aaron Gagne and Joseph Rumpf. Lewis was pinned to the ground by Rumpf and Gagne with his hand pressed against a hot radiator. As Lewis screamed in agony for several moments from the pain, Rumpf voiced that Gagne should move Lewis to the middle of the floor, but Gagne refused and Rumpf failed to further intervene. When Lewis was finally moved from the radiator, the skin and flesh on his wrist was burned away. He was denied appropriate medical attention for the third degree burns at an outside hospital because the guards and medical staff feared outside emergency personnel would report Lewis’ injuries to the New York state hotline.

The suit was filed on January 31, 2002, raising claims of excessive force, cruel and unusual punishment, deprivation of medical treatment and substantive due process, failure to intervene to protect Lewis’ rights, and failure to implement policies and training and supervise employees. Lewis settled the suit for $28,000. He was represented by Elmer Keach III of Amsterdam, New York. See: Lewis v. Gagne, Rumpf and John Does, U.S.D.C., ND New York, Case No. 102-CV-00129-DNH-RFT.

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Related legal case

Lewis v. Gagne, Rumpf and John Does