A federal magistrate has ruled in favor of a former Delaware prison guard who was accused of assaulting and using excessive force against an inmate following a failed escape attempt.
The judge ruled Thursday that Cary Green had failed to prove claims of excessive force, assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Phillip Poorman.
The ruling came in a lawsuit that was filed by Green in state court in 2019 and later moved to federal court.
Green suffered several broken bones and was knocked unconscious when a makeshift rope made of bed sheets failed to hold his weight and he fell from the roof of a building at Howard Young prison in Wilmington in 2017. Green claimed he was forced into the escape plot by his cellmate, Gerald Nash.
Green alleged that as guards responded to the scene, Poorman raised him by the chain of his handcuffs, exacerbating the pain from his broken wrist, repeatedly smashed his face into a fence and punched him after putting him in a vehicle. He also claimed Poorman ordered another guard to pepper spray him and then threatened to shock him with a stun cuff on his ankle if he complained to medical personnel that Poorman had beaten him.
Magistrate Judge Sherry Fallon found no merit to Green’s claims, noting his account of what happened was not credible or supported by other evidence or testimony.
Poorman, who is now a Wilmington police officer, was one of three defendants in the lawsuit. Fallon ruled in favor of another guard, Lt. Greg Esposito, in February.
A default judgment was issued last year against former correctional officer Shukriya Jenkins, who Green accused of having an improper relationship with his cellmate and turning a blind eye toward the escape attempt that put him “in harm’s way.” Jenkins was fired after the incident.
Fallon ruled Thursday there was no causal connection between Green’s injuries and Jenkins’ failure to act or alleged indifference. She instead said Green’s injuries were the result of the conduct of his cellmate and his own attempt at an illegal escape. The judge awarded Green zero dollars in damages against Jenkins.