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Millions recovered in verdicts & settlements for our clients since 1994
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$5.5 Million Landmark Victory

The First Case In History In Which the State of New York Was Held Liable For The Erroneous Release Of A Prison Convict

In a joint verdict, Steven Palermo, Esq., drew upon his extensive experience as a trial attorney to hold New York State responsible for its mistaken release of a dangerous and violent prison convict. Franklin Scruggs was being held in Great Meadow Prison for rape and assault. He was mistakenly released years before his sentence was up due to a clerical error. Scruggs went on to rape and murder a Long Island woman as well as attack another.

Scruggs had a lengthy criminal record, including sexual assault, robbery, and kidnapping. He was given 2 concurrent 20-year-to-life sentences, but unfortunately due to a careless clerical error he was released more than thirteen years too early.

It was imperative that Scruggs was not the only one held liable for this terrible act. The State of New York was responsible as well for failing to provide for the safety of its citizens because the state was well aware of Scruggs’s violent nature and yet failed to perform the simplest of tasks: keeping Scruggs imprisoned for the length of his sentence.

However, the State sought to shield itself behind the doctrine of governmental immunity. After years of battling it was ultimately decided that the government was not shielded from liability.

Steven relentlessly pursued justice for his client. Along with two partners of Great Neck’s Law Firm Parker and Waichman, who represented the other victim of Scruggs violent acts, Steven held the State of New York liable for the erroneous release of a prison convict – a landmark victory that made history – obtaining a joint verdict of $5.5 Million Dollars.