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Pennsylvania Prisoner Receives Settlement from Guards over Excessive Force Suit

by Christopher Zoukis

 A prisoner who was maced, restrained and unnecessarily disciplined agreed to a settlement with Pennsylvania guards in exchange for dropping his federal civil rights lawsuit alleging excessive force.

     On February 8, 2008, Allen Jerome Supples was sprayed with mace twice by prison guards and placed in a restraining chair for four-and-a-half hours. The guards allegedly refused Supples’ requests to use the bathroom, causing him to urinate and defecate on himself. He was subsequently reassigned to a restrictive housing unit.

     Supples claimed that after this incident, Sergeant Larry McConahy filed unjustified disciplinary charges against him. He argued that he was not allowed to challenge the charges, and that a complaint he made in 2007 about a Captain Rhodes who used racial epithets and physically assaulted prisoners was never investigated. Supples is African-American.

     On August 25, 2009, Supples filed a complaint in federal court against Warden Charles Adamo, Assistant Warden R. Porada, Charles Luffy, Brian Luffy, and two other prison officials and employees. He argued that the defendants’ unjustified and excessive force violated his Eighth Amendment rights, and he made claims of physical injuries, pain and suffering, mental anguish and psychological trauma.

     Most of the defendants, including Adamo, Porada and two head nurses, were dismissed from the complaint. The remaining defendants — those who allegedly participated in the excessive force against Supples — agreed to a settlement with Supples on May 21, 2012, and the case was dismissed by Judge Cathy Bissoon on June 11. Supples was represented by Ronald Fiscer of Dickie, Mccamey & Chilcote, PC.

See: Supples v. Adamo, et al., United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Case No. 2:09-cv-01141-CB (May 21, 2012)

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Related legal case

Supples v. Adamo, et al.