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$30,000 Settlement Reached for New Jersey Prisoner Assaulted by Guards

     Lester Seeley, who was allegedly assaulted by several guards while being held in the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark, New Jersey, agreed to a $30,000 settlement with the county.

     According to Seeley, he suffered an unprovoked attack by several guards on December 15, 2007, resulting in permanent and painful injuries. He subsequently filed a complaint in Essex County Superior Court, which was moved to federal court, against guards Jermaine Baptiste, Bruce Moore, Danny Smith and Fuquan Countryman for alleged civil rights violations. He also charged the Essex County Correctional Facility, the Essex County Sheriff’s Department, Essex County and Sheriff Armando Fontoura with negligent hiring and supervision.

     Seeley argued that his painful and severe permanent injuries were a direct result of the attack on him. He required medical attention for the treatment of his injuries and will require continued medical care. He sought damages, legal fees and interest. The defendants denied all of the allegations and disputed Seeley’s injuries.

     On May 29, 2012, summary judgment in favor of Seeley was granted against Countryman and Baptiste, who did not respond to the complaint. The remaining defendants agreed to a settlement with Seeley in which he would be paid $30,000 by Essex County. The case was dismissed by Judge William J. Martin on July 12.

See: Seeley v. Essex County Correctional Facility, et al., United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Newark Division, Case No. 2:10-cv-00706-WJM (June 18, 2012)

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Related legal case

Seeley v. Essex County Correctional Facility, et al.