After dismissal of first negligence and assault suit against prison guard, Delaware County man launches a second

By Nicholas Malfitano | Feb 15, 2019


PHILADELPHIA – A man once incarcerated in a Delaware County jail claims that he was assaulted and severely beaten by a former boxer-turned-corrections officer during his stay, and has launched his second lawsuit after voluntarily dismissing the first one.

Michael Papale of Sharon Hill first filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Oct. 18 versus Geo Group of Boca Raton, Fla. and Khalif Alexander Davis of Philadelphia.

He later filed a praecipe to discontinue that litigation without prejudice on Jan. 24.

His second lawsuit now names Community Education Center, Inc. of West Caldwell, N.J. as a defendant, instead of Geo Group (who had been dismissed from the first litigation on Dec. 8.), and in addition to Davis.

On Nov. 13, 2016, Papale was an inmate in the DUI Building’s A-Block, a non-violent offender area of the Delaware County Prison. On that date, plaintiff was told by defendant Officer Davis that he was going to be transferred to the main building, which allegedly was a lie.

Papale says he inquired as to the cause of the transfer, when Davis punched him in the face without provocation and proceeded to strike him 15-20 times about his head and body. The assault only abated due to the screaming of his fellow inmates towards Davis, the lawsuit said.

“Plaintiff suffered severe injuries, needed emergency medical care and remained in the prison medical facility for over 16 days. He has gone to sustain serious and permanent injuries. Officer Davis was charged and pled guilty to assault and has served a prison sentence as a result of this matter,” the suit stated.

The suit says the defendants neglected to prevent the assault, due to allegedly being fully aware of Davis’s past as a competitive boxer and a supposed propensity for violence towards inmates.

In an answer to the complaint featuring new matter filed on Feb. 4, the defendants argued the plantiff’s claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations, his own contributory negligence, and a failure to mitigate damages, among numerous other rationales.

In response to that same new matter and filed on the same day, Feb. 4, the plaintiff denied said new matter in its entirety as conclusions of law, to which no response was required.

For counts of negligent hiring, retention, training and supervision, assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and vicarious liability, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus punitive damages.

The plaintiff is represented by David B. Rodden of Rodden & Rodden, in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Matthew H. Fry and Robert M. DiOrio of DiOrio & Sereni, in Media.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas cases 181003698 & 181002454

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nick.malfitano@therecordinc.com

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