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$91,615 Awarded to Injured Aramark Employee After Indiana Jury Finds Against Prison

by Christopher Zoukis

 An employee with Aramark, a government service contractor, who suffered a back injury that required surgery after having to force open a gate at an Indiana prison, was awarded damages of $91,615 by a Superior Court jury.

     On September 3, 2008, Aramark employee William Kelly was making a delivery to Westville Correctional Center when he encountered a gate that was stuck. Since he need to pass through it, he made a significant effort to open it, resulting in herniated and bulging discs. He had surgery to repair the discs and received $61,402 in worker's compensation.

     Kelly filed a complaint in Lake County Superior Court against Westville Correctional Center, the Indiana Department of Corrections and the State of Indiana. He argued that the gate was a hazard on prison property, and he wasn't warned of the danger. The defendants denied knowing that the gate had a problem, and that regardless, they had no duty to warn him. In addition, they argued that Kelly assumed the risk of injury by trying to force the gate open himself.

     After a two-day trial in 2012, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Kelly, awarding him damages of $91,615.

 See: Kelly v. State of Indiana, et al., Lake County Superior Court, Case No. 45D11-1009-CT-162 (Feb. 23, 2012)

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Related legal case

Kelly v. State of Indiana, et al., Lake County Superior Court