Bizarre Personal Injury Lawsuit Features Escapee Seeking Damages from Jail

By: Gerri L. Elder

In Pueblo County, Colorado, a prisoner has filed a somewhat bizarre personal injury lawsuit in federal court. Scott Anthony Gomez, Jr. alleges, among other things, that the guards at the prison are to blame for his bid for freedom via jailbreak.

Gomez is suing Pueblo County,the former sheriff, the current sheriff as well as six guards and their supervisors. The former sheriff named in the lawsuit, Dan Corsentino, left office in January 2007.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, Colorado by Gomez's injury lawyer, alleges that Gomez was abused by guards on numerous occasions. Gomez claims that he has been sprayed with pepper spray, shot with a Taser gun, and beaten and kicked by the guards when he had done nothing to provoke these events.

This Colorado personal injury lawsuit also alleges that workers at the Pueblo County sheriff's department encouraged or ordered other inmates to attack him. According to Gomez, he had good reason to want to escape from jail because he was frequently beaten and abused by guards and other inmates.

With that in mind, it does seem that Gomez had at least a couple of friends in jail. He and another inmate escaped from the Pueblo County Jail on November 22, 2006. Gomez and the other inmate were able to exit the jail by pushing up a ceiling panel and crawling up into the ventilation system of the building. They then lowered themselves from the roof using bed sheets that were tied together.

Although he successfully broke out of jail, Gomez's freedom was fairly short-lived. He was captured and returned to jail two days later.

Gomez claims that at that time, he informed then-sheriff, Dan Corsentino, that there were plenty of ways that he could escape from the jail. He now blames Corsentino for failing to tighten up security at the jail and wants him held legally responsible.

On January 3, 2007, Gomez says that he was again assaulted by a guard, and then to add insult to injury, he was charged with inciting a riot. He claims that because of this beating and false allegation against him, he and another inmate planned to escape from the jail.

The lawsuit alleges that although Gomez was jailed in the maximum security wing of the jail, the cell doors were easily opened. Gomez also claims that a guard left the shower area unattended for an hour, and that was plenty of time for him to find a vulnerability and loosen a shower ceiling tile.

Gomez removed the shower ceiling tile and climbed out of the hole in the ceiling. Luck wasn't with him during this escape attempt though. While he was trying to make his way down the outside of the building, he fell 40 feet to the ground and was seriously injured. He takes no responsibility for his injuries, and claims in his personal injury lawsuit that if the jail had been properly secured, he would not have been able to make the escape attempt, and therefore would not have been injured. Simple logic, according to Gomez.

Because of the personal injuries he sustained while trying to escape, Gomez is seeking an unspecified amount of money in his Colorado personal injury lawsuit. He feels that he is entitled to collect damages because the authorities did not secure the jail in such a way to prevent him from trying to escape. We'll see if others share such beliefs!

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