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UNITED STATES EX REL. LEWIS v. JOHNSON

September 28, 1974

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ex rel. EDWARD LEWIS
v.
ROBERT L. JOHNSON



The opinion of the court was delivered by: NEWCOMER

 Newcomer, J.

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. At all times relevant to this lawsuit the plaintiff, Edward Lewis, was lawfully incarcerated at the State Correction Institute at Graterford (hereinafter "Graterford").

 2. At all times relevant to this lawsuit the defendant, Robert L. Johnson, was superintendent at Graterford.

 3. On the evening of November 2, 1972, during the evening recreational period, plaintiff became involved in an altercation with another inmate, Harold Reaves. Also involved in this altercation was another inmate, Carl Green. Lewis became involved when he attempted to ward off Reaves, who had without warning attacked Carl Green with a knife.

 4. During this altercation Harold Reaves stabbed Edward Lewis in the back.

 5. Immediately after this attack plaintiff was sent to the prison hospital. Plaintiff was diagnosed in the prison hospital as having a stab wound in the right side of his upper back, a pneumothorax (collapse of the lung due to the presence of air in the space between the lung and the inner surface of the chest wall) and a hemothorax (an accumulation of blood between the lung and the inner surface of the chest wall) of the right lung.

 6. Plaintiff's physical condition was treated by cleaning and bandaging his stab wound and surgically inserting a tube into his right chest.

 7. Plaintiff remained in the prison hospital from November 2, 1972 until approximately 11:30 a.m. on November 6, 1972.

 8. On the morning of November 6, 1972, the tube was removed from plaintiff's chest and he was released from the prison hospital.

 9. The misconduct report written by a guard at the scene of the altercation noted that plaintiff "was seen assaulting . . . Harold Reaves upon the head with a squeegee handle" and charged plaintiff with assault with a deadly weapon.

 10. The officer in charge of the prison block decided to place all three of the fight's participants in isolation. This decision was in keeping with the prison's policy of isolating both the perpetrators and the victims of a fight in order to prevent retaliation against either the perpetrator or victim of an attack by a member of the prison's general population.

 11. Consequently, inmates Reaves and Green were placed in solitary confinement on the night of November 2, 1972, Reaves in the Behavior Adjustment Unit and Green in the B-Block Gallery. Plaintiff was placed in solitary confinement in Cell No. 400, B-Block Gallery, upon his release from the hospital on November 6, 1972.

 12. From the evening of November 2, 1972, the Pennsylvania State Police were called to the Institution and undertook an investigation into the altercation between Harold Reaves, Edward Lewis, and Carl Green.

 13. Sometime after plaintiff came into B-Block on the evening of November 6, plaintiff noticed that the wound left in this chest by the removal of the tube had begun to bleed. As a result of this bleeding, plaintiff was allowed by the guards to report back to the prison hospital.

 14. Plaintiff remained in the prison hospital until the morning of November 8, 1972, at which time he was released from the hospital and returned to a segregated ...


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