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$110,000 Settlement Reached in Ohio Prisoner’s Excessive Force Suit

While at Southern Correctional Facility on January 21, 2018, prisoner Richard Barrow was attacked by another prisoner in his cell when his cell was opened for lunch time. He was subsequently placed in handcuffs behind his back and escorted out the cell block. As that was being done, a guard yelled, “Put him in the hucklebuck,” a term meaning to assault someone.

Guards Toby Bolton, Tony Barrett, Evan Smith and Adam Smith began to assault Barrow, causing a gash in his lip. He was dragged to the medical unit with his head slamming on door jams, Barrow alleged.

Once at medical, he was kicked and stomped until a nurse arrived, resulting in a broken rib and cuts to his eye and lip.

After exhausting his administrative remedies, Barrow on June 20, 2018, filed a civil rights complaint in federal court. Represented by the law firm of Friedman and Gilbert, the matter resulted in a preliminary settlement on September 26, 2019. The $110,518.94 settlement was inclusive of attorney fees. The agreement also provided for reversal of the guilty findings by the Rule Infraction Board for misconduct tickets Barrow received for the incident.

The guards were indemnified by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, which said it would pay the settlement because the defendants “did not act manifestly outside the scope of their employment, did not act in bad faith, and did not act in wanton or reckless disregard to Plaintiff, Richard Barrow.”

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Related legal case

Barrow v. Holton