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Prisoners Bitten by Prison Dogs Snag Settlements from Ohio DOC

Archie Wilder and Andrew Doan, prisoners in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, both had the misfortune of being bitten by dogs participating in prison training programs. Both filed suit in the Ohio Court of Claims, and both won $7,500.00 settlements from the Ohio prison system.

Doan and Wilder, prisoners at the Madison Correction Institution, in London, Ohio, were incarcerated at an institution that offered dog training, named “Tender Loving Care,” as a rehabilitative activity, but it was apparent that some of the dogs needed more training. Multiple prisoners, including the two plaintiffs, were bitten.

Both prisoners suffered bite wounds that became infected and required painful daily regimens of wound care and medication. Both filed grievances, which came to naught. Both filed complaints, based upon personal injury, and incidental and consequential damages.

According to Wilder’s complaint, “when plaintiff went to the infirmary, the wound was so severe that it could not be stitched or stapled. In order to close the wound, plaintiff had to endure approximately 8 to 10 weeks of daily wound care. Plaintiff took a cocktail of antibiotics for two weeks, so the wound would not become infected.”

Doan alleged that, “Defendant...had sufficient time to remove the dog from the premises and failed to do so.... As a direct and proximate result of being bitten ... [he] sustained serious physical injuries, scarring, pain and suffering ... scarring ... and emotional distress.”

Prisoner personal injury cases where the injuries are not life-threatening or fatal generally result in relatively modest settlements, and these two cases were no exception. The Ohio prison system failed to promptly remove a known biter from the prison, and other individuals, including Doan and Wilder, and the strict liability statute in Ohio tipped the balance in the prisoner’s favor. No word on what happened to the offending animals. See: Doan v. Ohio DOC, 2014-0083, Ohio Court of Claims, February 3, 2014; Wilder v. DOC, 2015- 597, June 23, 2015.

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Related legal cases

Wilder v. DOC

Doan v. Ohio DOC