Former Inmates Win Lawsuit Against Massachusetts

June 16, 2010

A federal judge has given preliminary approval to settlement for a lawsuit filed by former inmates who were housed at a Suffolk County, Massachusetts House of Corrections building that had no toilets or sinks in the cells.

Inmates who were jailed at Building 4 had to seek permission to use the bathroom during lock-in hours. The lawsuit alleges the system was inadequate and resulted in some prisoners using containers to deposit their bodily wastes.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Collings on Monday approved the settlement that requires the state to pay $1.5 million. It will benefit about 4,000 inmates who were jailed between August 2003 and February 2008. Each will receive up to $3,500, depending on how long they stayed at the facility.

The state has denied any wrongdoing.

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