Carpenter sues state over injury, length of jail stay

August 08, 1993|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Staff Writer

A Pennsylvania carpenter is suing the state Division of Correction for keeping him in prison 28 days too long, contending an injury during his extended stay has prevented him from working.

Kenneth Mitchell Barr, 37, of Delta, Pa., is seeking $100,000 in wages that he alleges he could have earned if he had not severely injured his hand on a band saw Oct. 27, 1992, while doing carpentry at the Jessup prison.

That was a month after he contends he should have been paroled from the Brockbridge Correctional Institution in Jessup.

Mr. Barr filed the civil lawsuit in Harford Circuit Court Monday through Bel Air attorney J. Richard Moore III.

Mr. Barr's injury, which occurred the day before he was released, has left him with permanent damage, Mr. Moore said.

Court documents show that Mr. Barr was sentenced to five years in prison plus 60 days on March 4, 1991. He had several convictions for driving while intoxicated and one for driving on a revoked license, Mr. Moore said.

The lawsuit contends that Mr. Barr had a Parole Commission hearing March 18, 1992, and was granted release effective Sept. 30, 1992.

Mr. Barr says he was not released on Sept. 30 and contends prison officials told him that there was an outstanding detainer against him.

However, court papers show that the Division of Correction had received notice on April 15, 1991, indicating that there were no outstanding detainers against Mr. Barr.

Mr. Barr contends that the denial of his parole was unfair and caused him monetary damages when he was unable to accept a job he had been promised by a carpenters' union.

In addition to the false imprisonment claim, Mr. Barr also is seeking $62 in unpaid wages he alleges he earned in prison during October 1992 before his injury.

The lawsuit also shows that Mr. Barr filed a claim for damages to the state treasurer under the Maryland Tort Claims Act on Nov. 18, 1992, but that claim was denied on May 25.

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