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$500,000 Settlement in Georgia Prisoner’s Death while on Work Crew

$500,000 Settlement in Georgia Prisoner’s Death while on Work Crew

The family of a prisoner killed while working on a road crew in Georgia accepted a $500,000 settlement in a wrongful death suit. The main cause of action was predicated upon a failure to train employees.

Prisoner John F. Glass, 40, was assigned to a road crew at the Troup County Correctional Institution on November 14, 2007 when he was involved in a fatal accident. Glass and five other workers were cutting grass and picking up trash along a road in Troup County when another prisoner’s tractor became stuck.

The supervisor, guard Donrell Gates, ordered Glass and Smith to attach a chain to a van to pull the tractor and bush hog out of an embanked ditch. As they were doing so, a rock flew out from beneath the bush hog, striking Glass in the throat.

For three to five minutes before he lost consciousness, Glass waved frantically to those around him for help, as he bled profusely from the wound. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

His estate, which included a minor son, alleged Troup County had failed to train prisoners and work supervisors on the operation of tractors or bush hogs. Neither Gates nor county officials had read a manual that warned against operating bush hogs on embankments, and a county policy was not followed that required a service truck be dispatched to free stuck tractors.

Following four years of litigation, the case settled before trial for $500,000. Glass’ estate was represented by attorneys from the Law Offices of Michael L. Neff in Atlanta. See: Glass v. Gates, Troup County Superior Court (GA), Case No. 09-CV-1001.


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Related legal case

Glass v. Gates