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$2,200 Award for South Carolina’s Prisoner against Assailant Prisoner

A jury in South Carolina has awarded $2,200 to a prisoner after finding the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDOC) guilty of gross negligence.

Prisoner Andrew Baldree, 36, was confined on December 28, 2011, at the Lieber Correctional Institution. He alleged that prisoner Nathan Ray snuck into his cell during the middle of the night and “dashed” and stabbed him.

“Dashing” is burning with a mixture of water and Vaseline to heated to extreme temperature in a microwave. Baldree alleged Ray dashed him, causing second degree burns on his neck and face, and stabbed him in the elbow and shoulder. Baldree required surgery and skin grafts to his neck and cheeks.

Baldree’s lawsuit alleged Ray was liable under theory of assault and battery resulting in serious injury, arguing Ray was found with the stabbing instrument to support the claim. While Ray denied involvement, the jury found he was liable and awarded Baldree $2,200 in damages in its June 4, 2014 judgment.

The claim against SCDOC alleged gross negligence for failure to provide for the safety and security of its prisoners. SCDOC made a pretrial offer of $1,500, but with that rejected it argued at trial it had no prior knowledge of “bad blood” between Baldree and Ray. The jury found for SCDOC.

Baldree was represented by attorneys Michael Brooks Biediger and S. Jahue Moore, Sr. See: Baldree v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, Court of Common Pleas, Richland County, Case No. 2013 PC 4007669.

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Related legal case

Baldree v. South Carolina Department of Corrections