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Articles by Joe Watson

$750,000 Settlement for MI Man Wrongfully Jailed for Murder of Girlfriend's Infant Son

by Joe Watson

Matthew Ditzhazy, who was acquitted of charges that he murdered his girlfriend’s 19-month-old son, reached a $750,000 settlement agreement in July 2008 with the city of Lincoln Park, Mich., near Detroit, where he spent a year and a half in jail.

Three adults were in the ...

$500,000 Settlement for Shackled IL Man Thrown from County Jail Transport Van

by Joe Watson

A man who was shackled, handcuffed, and in custody when he was thrown out of a moving, Jefferson County, Illinois transport van was awarded $500,000 in July 2008 after his estate settled in U.S. district court.

The estate of Torrie D. Daniels, represented by Office ...

$255,000 Jury Award for Man Beaten by IL Jail Guards After Judge Grants Remittitur

by Joe Watson

Donald Martin, Jr., had been awarded $780,000 in compensatory and punitive damages by a federal jury in July 2008 after he’d sued Cook County, Ill., Sheriff Michael Sheahan and the jail guards who had beaten him as a pre-trial detainee in 2006. But U.S. District ...

$187,000 Settlement for TX County Jail Administrator Turned Whistleblower

by Joe Watson

A former jail administrator in Bastrop County, Texas, agreed to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit for $187,000 against his old boss, a former sheriff who had pleaded guilty to charges of corruption and abuse of power. Charlie Littleton accepted the cash settlement—plus full retirement and healthcare ...

$175,000 Settlement for NY BOP Employee Allegedly Threatened, Sexually Harassed by Coworker

by Joe Watson

Etta Traynham, a recreational specialist at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York City’s Federal Bureau of Prisons facility, settled a Title VII lawsuit filed against the Department of Justice for $175,000 in May 2008.

Traynham alleged in a January 2007 complaint filed in the U.S ...

$65,000 Awarded to PA Prisoner Neglected by Private Medical Provider

by Joe Watson

Darren Johnson, a prisoner at Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institution (SCI)-Graterford, was awarded $65,000 in a U.S. District Court bench trial in July 2008 after Correctional Physician Services (CPS), SCI-Graterford’s private medical care provider, was found to be negligent in treating Johnson’s severe knee injury ...

$20,000 Settlement for NJ Jail Guard Harassed for Years After Pregnancy

by Joe Watson

Lisa Knowlton and her husband, Ronald--both guards at the Morris County, N.J. jail--settled a workplace harassment suit against the county in August 2008 for $20,000 after years of what Lisa claimed was employment and gender discrimination.

Lisa Knowlton became pregnant in February 2000, almost three ...

$3,000 Settlement for NY Prisoner Assaulted, Harassed by Guards

by Joe Watson

Michael Modlenaar, a former prisoner at the Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone, N.Y. settled a 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 complaint in August 2008 for $3,000 after alleging that multiple prison guards had beaten, harassed and “framed” him, and that medical staff was ...

$2,500 Settlement for Chicago Man Injured by Tight Shackles

by Joe Watson

Markus Durden-Bey accepted a $2,500 settlement from the City of Chicago in July 2008 after alleging that, during his arrest by Chicago Police for drug possession on Feb. 20, 2007, he suffered numbness, swelling, and bleeding due to shackles placed around his ankles too tightly. He ...

$1,514 Verdict in Favor of NV Prisoner in Jail Retaliation Case

by Joe Watson

A federal judge returned a bench verdict in favor of Timothy H. Johnson, a prisoner at the Ely, Nevada state prison, in May 2008, awarding the plaintiff $1,514.35 in his suit alleging that he was fired from his prison job for refusing to sign a ...