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$25,000 Awarded to New York Prison Inmate Over Medical Mistreatment

by Christopher Zoukis

 Michael Brew, a prisoner at the Greene Correctional Facility in Coxsackie, New York, was awarded $25,000 in damages against a prison doctor whom a federal jury found was deliberately indifferent to Brew's serious medical needs.

     On March 11, 2004, Brew was struck in the head by other prisoners with a broomstick. Four days later, on March 15, Brew went to the medical department for treatment, allegedly with signs of a serious head injury. According to Brew, Nurse Administrator Laura Prebble, Dr. Joshua Rosenfeld and Nurse Cole gave him inadequate treatment and refused to consider any outside medical testing. On March 30, after repeatedly requesting further treatment, Brew was taken to an outside facility, where he underwent surgery for a subdural hematoma.

     Brew filed a complaint in federal court against Prebble, Rosenfeld and Cole, alleging deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Alleging that their denial of treatment resulted in pain, suffering and permanent disfigurement, Brew sought $1,000,000 for damages, fees and costs. On March 16, 2010, Prebble and Cole were granted summary judgment by Senior Judge Lawrence E. Kahn.

     On October 20, 2011, the jury found that Rosenfeld was deliberately indifferent toward Brew's serious medical needs, awarding Brew $25,000 in actual damages. A subsequent settlement was filed on November 30, 2011, in which Rosenfeld agreed to pay $45,000 in exchange for a release of all claims of fees and costs. Brew was represented by New York attorney Fred Lichtmacher.

 See: Brew v. Nurse Administrator Laura Prebble, et al., United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, Case No. 0:07-cv-00446-TJM-ATB (Oct. 20, 2011)

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Related legal case

Brew v. Nurse Administrator Laura Prebble, et al.