February Volunteer Feature: Weil Gotshal & Manges Wins Jury Verdict of $750,000 for Abused Inmate
Jason Lichter and Cecilia ("Sas") Silver, supervised by Vernon Broderick, won a resounding victory for an abused inmate who was beaten brutally by five corrections officers at the Fishkill Correctional Facility. The beating occurred while the prisoner was handcuffed and resulted in at least twelve (12) medically documented injuries to his face, jaw, abdomen, and back. The Legal Aid Society, which had been contacted by the prisoner, referred the case to Weil Gotshal and provided mentoring through its Prisoners' Rights Practice.
Upon receiving the case, the Weil team successfully argued before U.S. District Court Judge P. Kevin Castel, that the prisoner was tricked into signing a stipulation of discontinuance and that dismissal of his pro se complaint should be deemed a voluntary dismissal without prejudice to refile. Weil attorneys then timely filed a new complaint, deposed all five defendants, the Fishkill captain (a.k.a. the warden), and the nurse who treated the inmate after the beating, and defeated plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. Mr. Lichter and Ms. Silver acted as lead counsel during the four-day trial in which the jury found all of the defendants liable and awarded the inmate $200,000 in compensatory damages and $550,000 in punitive damages. Judge Castel, an active participant during trial, commended the lawyers on their representation and praised Vernon Broderick for his outstanding supervision of the trial team. The Weil trial team also included associates Bert Mayer, Alex Khachaturian, and Tashanna Pearson, paralegals Patrick Mills and Gareth Mandel, and trial graphics professionals Jorge Martorell and John Ko.