Trail v. City of New York, 09 Civ 1574 (LTS) (S.D.N.Y.)
Pauling v. City of New York, 09 Civ 2617 (S.D.N.Y.)
Crown v. City of New York, 09 Civ 2614 (S.D.N.Y.)
Tabb v. City of New York, 09 Civ 2616 (S.D.N.Y.)

Nature of Claims: These cases were brought in early 2009 on behalf of four prisoners beaten in separate incidents at different jails on Rikers Island. Each sustained a perforated eardrum. The perforated eardrum is an injury that is extremely unlikely to result from a good faith effort to restore order, and is closely associated with the infliction of torture. See U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Istanbul Protocol: The Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ¶ 178 (2004) (“Trauma to the ears, and especially rupture of the tympanic membrane, is a frequent consequence of harsh beatings. . . . A common form of torture, known in Latin America as telefono, is a hard slap of the palm to one or both ears, rapidly increasing pressure in the ear canal, thus rupturing the drum.”). PRP staff discovered an unusually large number of these cases in the Ingles litigation, then jail staff ceased to inflict it for several years. Unfortunately, perforated eardrum injuries reappeared in early 2008. The cases are assigned, respectively, to Hon. Laura Taylor Swain, Hon. Schira Scheindlin, Hon. Paul G. Gardephe, and Hon. Harold Baer, Jr. In late 2009, three of the pliantiffs accepted settlements ranging from $75,000 to $125,000.

Current status: Three settled one pending.

Reported decisions: None.