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$500,000 Settlement for Shackled IL Man Thrown from County Jail Transport Van

by Joe Watson

A man who was shackled, handcuffed, and in custody when he was thrown out of a moving, Jefferson County, Illinois transport van was awarded $500,000 in July 2008 after his estate settled in U.S. district court.

The estate of Torrie D. Daniels, represented by Office of the State Guardian Helen Godlewski, had originally asked Jefferson County Sheriff Robert D. Mulch--as well as Sheriff Kenneth R. Ramsay of Kane County, which had arrested Daniels for unspecified reasons--to pay $5 million for Daniels’ injuries and violations of his civil rights. On May 17, 2005, Jefferson County jail guard John R. Hughey was driving the transport van from Kane County when--after Hughey made a sharp left turn on his way to the Jefferson County Jail in Mount Vernon, Ill.--the rear passenger door flew open, and Daniels was thrown out of the van and onto the street.

Godlewski alleged claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983, popularly known as “Section 1983,” and for negligence. The case was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in August 2007, and at a June 2008 settlement conference presided over by Judge Philip M. Frazier, the case was settled. Attorney’s fees were paid in the amount of $166,666.67, plus $ 7,681.80 for reimbursement of expenses to plaintiff’s counsel; $160,000.00 was paid for a lien of the Illinois Department of Healthcare & Family Services, plus $8,300.00 for a lien of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital; and the remainder of $157,350.53 was paid to Daniels’ estate. See: Daniels v. Ramsay, U.S.D.C. (S.D. Ill.), Case No. 3:07-CV-00552.

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Related legal case

Daniels v. Ramsay