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$7,500 Settlement for Pennsylvania Prisoner Assaulted by Guards And Denied Medical Care

On March 23, 2021, an agreement was executed paying $7,500 to settle three complaints a former pretrial detainee had brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging guards at Chester County Prison twice physically assaulted him when he was held there in 2018 and on three occasions also neglected to provide medical attention.

The former detainee, Mark Anthony Clark, filed his first suit pro se on March 25, 2019, alleging he was denied medical attention for chest pains he suffered on April 14, 2018, despite multiple evaluations for a heart condition since his incarceration at the prison the previous August. On the date in question, after informing guards Nicholas Thorburn and Sgt. Ricardo Ramos of chest pain, Clark was told to “stand by.” Two days later, having still not seen medical staff, he was found unresponsive in his cell. While in the medical department, he experienced dizziness and began to hear voices, yet staff gave him Motrin and released him. He then learned from another prisoner that the guard who found him, Dennis Feliciano, waited to finish serving lunch before calling for help.

Clark filed his second suit on May 22, 2019, accusing three other guards, Robert Walker, Edward Whiteside and Sgt. Curtis Hawkins, of entering his cell in the prison’s Restrictive Housing Unit on July 18, 2018, when the three initiated a physical assault. Clark suffered a bloody head wound, but his requests for medical attention went ignored. When he finally saw a nurse days later, he was again given only Motrin. He was represented in this suit by attorneys Stephen D. Brown, Carla Graff and Tiffany Ellen Engsell of the Philadelphia firm of Dechert LLP, who also represented him in the settlement of all three cases.

But first, on July 26, 2019, Clark filed an amended complaint in his third suit pro se, alleging that as he was being transferred to another cell on May 15, 2018, he was handcuffed and forced to walk backwards down a corridor. When he complained, he was allegedly physically assaulted by guards Gerardo Hernandez, Matthew Taylor, Carole White and Cpl. Matthew Lanes, who punched his face, leaving him with a bleeding eye wound. Clark was then also denied medical treatment, despite repeated requests. 

As a condition of the monetary settlement, Clark relinquished any and all claims against defendants, including Chester County and its prison health care contractor, PrimeCare Medical, Inc. See: Clark v. Feliciano, USDC (E.D.Pa.), Case No. 2:19-CV-01261-JLS (2019); Clark v. Doe-Walker, USDC (E.D.Pa.), Case No. 2:19-CV-02235-JLS (2019); and Clark v. Doe-Hernandez, USDC (E.D.Pa.), Case No. 2:19-CV-02531-JLS (2019). 

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Related legal cases

Clark v. Feliciano

Clark v. Doe-Walker

Clark v. Doe-Hernandez