Paterson, NJ asked in Personal Injury for New York

Q: If an inmate gets attacked in his sleep because the guard on duty had fallen asleep, can the prison be held responaible?

Hi my daughter's father is currently incarcerated and recently was attacked by other inmates in his sleep and cut up really bad. I was told that the guard on duty had fallen asleep. I was wondering if he can sue the prison because I don't think that should have been able to happen and I believe they should be held responsible for it because the guards are there to protect and maintain some type of order. I really just want to know if there is anything we can do or any advise you could give that will help the situation. Thanks so much.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jason Alexander Richman
Jason Alexander Richman
  • River Edge, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: It is possible but not certain that a viable claim may arise from the incident that you have described. Certainly Prisons can be sued for inmate injuries in various circumstances including cases where the injuries result directly from the criminal actions of third parties (other inmates); however, not every injury of an inmate caused by the violence of other inmates results in liability as against the prison. All of the specific facts, details and circumstances will need to be considered in order to determine whether or not a claim ought to be brought. I suggest consulting with an local personal injury attorney in order to evaluate this possibility. Also please bear in mind that lawsuits such as this are procedurally complex and very time sensitive. Time limitations will prevent any legal action unless the action is commenced prior to the expiration of those time limits. Find a local personal injury attorney and schedule an appointment to discuss all of the specific details and timing.

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