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$40,000 for Federal Prisoner in Slip and Fall Case

On May 22, 2000, the U.S. Attorney General's Office reached a settlement agreement with a federal prisoner who had injured himself when he slipped and fell in his cell shower at the Federal Detention Center (FDC) near Seattle. The settlement was for $40,000, which included all attorney's fees and costs. PLN is just now reporting on this case after a longstanding Freedom of Information Act request was recently fulfilled by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

Ryan Lund was being held at FDC-Seattle for unspecified reasons when, on December 14, 1997, he slipped and fell while exiting the shower in his cell in FDC's "Special Housing Unit," or segregation. According to his complaint, Lund was "made to shower on a slick, wet, concrete surface without proper footwear" and his cell floor did not drain properly allowing the shower water to pool. The lawsuit says Lund suffered "serious injuries," but was otherwise silent on the extent or nature of those injuries. (Lund's administrative claim indicated that Lund suffered an unspecified neck injury.)

Lund, through his attorney Jeffrey B. Tuttle of Fulton & Tuttle in Seattle, filed that administrative claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act seeking $1 million in damages. The BOP denied that claim in September 1998, writing that "there is no documentation to support (Lund's) allegations that he fell in the shower ... He never advised staff that he slipped and fell during the whole time that he was in SHU."

Lund's federal suit was then filed on December 31, 1998, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, seeking unspecified damages. After nearly six months of litigation, the parties agreed to settle the case for $40,000, with the BOP denying any wrongdoing or liability. See: Lund v. United States of America, No. C98-1866L (U.S.D.C. W.D. WA).

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Related legal case

Lund v. United States of America