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Prisoner Settles for $10,000 in Slip and Fall at FCI Elkton

William L. Bonhart, a federal prisoner housed at Federal Correctional Institution Elkton, Ohio settled his negligence claim related to a slip and fall on the stairs of his housing unit.

According to Bonhart's complaint, filed on June 28, 2000 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, while at FCI Elkton he slipped and fell on the stairs in his housing unit as a result of water accumulating at the entranceway to his dormitory. According to the complaint, the Federal Bureau of Prisons "breached its duty to [Bonhart] by allowing a dangerous and unsafe condition to exist, to wit: an accumulation of water in and around the entranceway/walkway into [Bonhart's] dormitory, and posted no warnings to residents of this dangerous and unsafe condition."

Bonhart alleged that he sustained severe personal injuries, including a fractured left upper incisor, three loose teeth, and a cut lip. As a result of his injuries, according to the complaint, "[Bonhart] has experienced and continues to experience pain and suffering, humiliation, disability, mental anguish, embarrassment, and has incurred dental bills and will incur future bills for his care and treatment."

On December 23, 2000 the parties settled the case. The United States of America agreed to pay Bonhart $10,000.00 in full satisfaction of the claim. As is typical in the settlement of negligence suits, the Bureau of Prisons did not admit liability for the allegedly dangerous situation at FCI Elkton.

Prison Legal News obtained the documents contained in this case following a 12-year battled with the Federal Bureau of Prisons over a Freedom of Information Act request.

Source: Bonhart v. USA, No. 00-72911 (E.D. Mich. filed June 28, 2000).

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Related legal case

Bonhart v. USA