Mercado v. Woodward, 06 Civ. 5820 (PKC) (S.D.N.Y.)

Nature of Claims: Mr. Mercado alleges that he was beaten and kicked repeatedly by a number of correction officers and a sergeant at Fishkill Correctional Facility, inflicting multiple bruises, abrasions, and lacerations on his face, torso, back, and left ankle, including a laceration to his face caused when an officer’s blow broke his glasses. The Volunteer Division recruited pro bono counsel for him. PRP is not formally co-counsel but has advised and consulted with counsel on the drafting of the complaint and strategic and tactical questions.

Current Status: The initial pro se complaint was dismissed without prejudice, and pro bono counsel Weil, Gotshal & Manges re-filed the case and prosecuted it to a conclusion. On February 3, 2009, a jury returned a verdict of $200,000 in compensatory damages and $550,000 in punitive damages against the prison staff involved.

Reported decisions: None.