Staff Assaults

Porter v. Sheriff, Middlesex County This is a claim for damages brought by a prisoner with severe mental illness who was improperly placed in a restraint chair at the Middlesex House of Correction for excessively prolonged period of time and under conditions that caused serious and emotional harm. We have negotiated significant changes in the Middlesex County restraint policies and practices, and have reached a settlement of Mr. Porter’s damage claim for $27,000.

Weymouth v. Cousins, et al – Case brought on behalf of a prisoner at the Essex County House of Correction who was assaulted in his cell by officers resulting in multiple injuries including a broken nose, two chipped teeth, and a laceration above his right eye that required three sutures. In addition, the defendants retaliated against Mr. Weymouth for asking a mental health worker to contact his mother to tell her about his injuries. The case was brought against individual officers and also against supervisory officials at the House of Correction for condoning and tolerating excessive force by officers against prisoners. Defendants removed the case to federal court. On March 19, 2014, we settled this case with damages to the Plaintiff and an agreement by the Defendants to make significant changes to use of force policies and practices and grievance procedures in Essex County. We are now monitoring compliance.

Nascarella v. Cousins, et al.This is a case brought by a prisoner at the Essex County House of Correction who was viciously and needlessly assaulted by officers who broke his back and nose, and also caused serious facial lacerations and other injuries. Plaintiff was then subjected to substandard and inadequate medical care when nursing staff failed to properly examine him and treat his serious injuries. Defendants removed the case to federal court and discovery is ongoing. Also, on November 19, 2013, the superior court allowed the medical malpractice claims to proceed. Defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment and the hearing was held on January 29, 2015.