Maryland Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed By Family of Fatally Beaten Detainee

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office and the family of a Randallstown man that died after being beaten by correctional officers inside Baltimore’s Central Booking and Intake Center in 2005 have reached a $500,000 wrongful death settlement.

Smoot, the father of four children—three of them under 18 years of age—was arrested in May 2005 on a minor theft charge and his failure to appear in court. At Central Booking, the state-run correctional facility, he was beaten and stomped to death during a brawl involving at least 25 correctional guards. Smoot had reportedly refused to enter his detention cell.

Following his beating, photos showed bruises all over his face and a blood-soaked gauze in his mouth. A family member had reported that his skull was cracked.

Three officers were charged for his second degree murder—with one of the men convicted of the charge and sentenced 20 years in prison.

Smoot’s family agreed to drop its $130 million wrongful death lawsuit in exchange fro the settlement. Maryland’s Board of Public Works still has to confirm the agreement.

One of the reasons for accepting the settlement is that Maryland has a liability cap of $200,000—so even if the family had won its lawsuit in court, the state of Maryland may have been able to lower the award.

Police Brutality

Unfortunately, police brutality is a far more common occurrence than we’d like for it to be. If you have been the victim of violence by a police or a correctional officer—even if you have been arrested for a crime—you still have civil rights.

Our Baltimore personal injury lawyers represent clients that have been injured because of the negligent, reckless, or violent acts of other parties. Over the years, we have successfully represented clients in Maryland and Washington D.C.

State to pay in death of Central Booking detainee, Baltimore Sun, May 7, 2008
$500,000 settlement accepted in Central Booking beating death,, May 7, 2008
Prisoner dies after altercation with guards, Baltimore Sun, May 16, 2005

Related Web Resources:

End brutality behind bars, Baltimore Sun, April 24, 2008

Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services

Contact Lebowitz & Mzhen today for your free consultation with a Maryland personal injury attorney.

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