Sauder Schelkopf is investigating a potential class action lawsuit on behalf of individuals who were housed at Rikers Island and whose safety was compromised through the alleged indifference of the Department of Corrections.
On January 12, 2022, the New York Times reported in part:
The men had gotten along on Rikers Island, had even been friendly, but now they were face to face inside a jail cell — and a gang leader had just ordered them to fight. Unable to refuse him, the men began to pummel one another while, outside the cell, other detainees jostled and cheered.
When it was over, the winner got a cigarette, according to court records and interviews.
Standing nearby, a correction officer watched without intervening. Neither the fights nor the injuries were recorded in any official report.
In an unusual decision last month, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge ordered the release of one of the men who had been forced to participate in the “fight night” because, she said, the Department of Correction had failed to protect him. The department’s inability to manage the jail system as the man awaited trial on robbery charges, Justice April Newbauer said, “was tantamount to deliberate indifference.”
Sauder Schelkopf has a nationally recognized litigation practice. Our former prosecutors have extensive experience representing victims of all ages. The Legal Intelligencer named Sauder Schelkopf partners to its 2020 Pennsylvania Trailblazers. The honor recognizes 31 lawyers who “have taken extra measures to contribute to positive outcomes . . . and who are truly agents of change.” The Legal highlights our partner’s innovative work on advocacy as class counsel in large institutional sex abuse cover-ups, women’s, and children’s rights.
- We currently represent hundreds of individuals whose rights were violated while they were detained in a juvenile detention facility. Sauder Schelkopf and co-counsel filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of current and former students of The Glen Mills Schools who allege that they were physically and mentally abused while attending the School.
- In Allison, et al. v. The GEO Group, Mr. Sauder served as co-lead counsel and achieved a $2.9 million settlement on behalf of pretrial detainees whose civil rights were violated at the Delaware County prison.
- In Kurian v. County of Lancaster, Mr. Sauder served as co-lead counsel and achieved a $2.5 million settlement in this civil rights class action lawsuit on behalf of pretrial detainees.
- Sauder Schelkopf, and co-counsel, recently reached a $215 million settlement on behalf of female patients of Dr. George Tyndall, a gynecologist at the University of Southern California accused of sexual misconduct since the 1990s.
- We have represented survivors of clergy sexual abuse in dioceses throughout the country.
- We have a class action lawsuit pending on behalf of males who were victims of sexual misconduct by Dr. Richard Strauss, the Ohio State team doctor, while they were students and student-athletes at Ohio State University.
- We have been court-appointed as Interim Co-Class Counsel to represent former students of the University of Michigan who were victims of sexual misconduct by Dr. Robert E. Anderson, former director of University Health Service, and a former athletic team physician, who worked at the University of Michigan from 1968 until his retirement in 2003.
We Want to Hear from You
If you were housed at Rikers Island and your safety was compromised through the alleged indifference of the Department of Corrections, contact the lawyers at Sauder Schelkopf by filling out the form on this page.