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$132,300 Awarded to Florida Prisoner After Hand Crushed in Cell Door

by Christopher Zoukis

A female prisoner whose hand was injured when it was caught in a closing cell door was awarded $132,300 by a Florida jury. 

V. Holloman was being held at the St. Lucie County Jail when guards arrived to conduct a cell search. She claimed that she was trying to tell the guards that she hadn't been patted down when they grabbed her by the shirt, threw her into the cell and closed the door on her hand. She sustained a crush injury to her dominant right hand resulting in ligament damage to her ring finger and pinky. Surgery was performed.

Holloman filed a complaint against St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara. Mascara claimed that Hollowman refused to return to her cell and grabbed the door as it was being closed by the guards. He maintained that she did not follow directions, making it her negligence that caused the injury.

The jury, which viewed a video recording of the incident, found the defendant 22 percent negligent and Hollowman 78 percent comparatively negligent. It awarded Hollowman $132,300 in damages, which was reduced accordingly.

See: Holloman v. Mascara as Sheriff of St. Lucie County, St. Lucie County Court, Case No. 562010CA006136 (Dec. 13, 2011)

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Related legal case

Holloman v. Mascara as Sheriff of St. Lucie County