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California Prisoner's Deliberate Indifference Claims Settled for $910.00

A California prisoner was paid $910.00 to settle his claims that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs and safety.

California prisoner George L. Aaron suffered a painful ankle injury while playing handball on August 2, 2003. However, prison medical staff failed to take the injury seriously. It wasn't until February 4, 2004, that Aaron was finally seen by a specialist who diagnosed a partially ruptured Achilles tendon.

Protective custody prisoners like Aaron are required to work. Refusal to do so may result in a program failure and return to general population.

Despite his obviously severe and painful ankle injury, Aaron was directed to work in the dining hall, on August 22, 2003. Although he was unable to perform the job duties, Aaron complied because he feared for his safety if returned to general population.

The work Aaron was required to perform caused him severe pain and aggravated his ankle injury. On August 29, 2003, a doctor refused to remove Aaron from his job assignment, pending examination by a specialist.

Prisoner Wright was appointed as the dining hall lead worker. Staff knew that Wright threatened and assaulted other prisoners on numerous occasions, but "condoned and permitted (him) to inflict corporal punishment on any inmate who did not follow his instructions."

On November 7, 2003, Aaron was not physically able to push a 200-pound food cart, due to his ankle injury. Wright then struck Aaron "repeatedly in the face," shattering his upper and lower dentures and causing him to re-injure his already severely injured ankle.

On January 23, 2005, Aaron brought federal suit, alleging that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his ruptured Achilles tendon and Wright's threat to his physical safety. He sought $200,000 in compensatory damages and unspecified punitive damages.

On July 6, 2008, prison officials agreed to pay Aaron $910.00 to settle all of his claims. See: Aaron v. Dickinson, U.S.D.C. (E.D. Cal.), Case No. 2:05-cv-00173-LKK-EFB.

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Related legal case

Aaron v. Dickinson