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$50,000 Settlement for New York Female Prisoner Fondled by Physician's Assistant

by Christopher Zoukis

Tunisia Ivory, a female prisoner at Riverhead Correctional Facility in Suffolk County, New York, received $50,000 in a settlement with the county over allegations that she was inappropriately touched on multiple occasions by a medical assistant, and that this assistant was allowed to continue in his position despite several similar complaints.

     In June 2005, Ivory sought treatment of a dental problem, and was examined by physician's assistant Gary A. Feinberg. Allegedly, Feinberg fondled and inappropriately touched Ivory during this and subsequent exams to which she was summoned. On February 9, 2006, Feinberg was arrested and charged with 16 counts of sexual abuse in the second degree and five counts of official misconduct. He subsequently committed suicide.

     On March 26, 2008, Ivory filed a complaint in federal court against the county of Suffolk, Suffolk County Sheriff's Office, Suffolk County Health Department, Sergeant Steven Lundquist, Prison Guard Raymond Olivencia, Warden Thomas Murphy, Sheriff Alfred Tisch, the Estate of Gary A. Feinberg, Vincent Geraci, M.D. and others unnamed. She alleged that her First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights had been violated, seeking $5,000,000 in compensatory damages, $1,000,000 in punitive damages and attorneys fees and costs.

     A settlement was agreed upon and filed with the court on March 30, 2012. Ivory agreed to drop her claims for a payment of $50,000 by Suffolk County.

 See: Ivory v. County of Suffolk, et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Case No. 2:08-cv-01236-ADS-ARL (Oct. 26, 2011)

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Related legal case

Ivory v. County of Suffolk, et al.