ECBAWM and Legal Aid File Lawsuit on Behalf of Rikers Inmate Beaten Nearly to Death

  • June 22, 2015

Together with the Legal Aid Society, Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court on behalf of Michael Cruz, who was beaten by correction officers at Rikers Island so brutally that he suffered massive internal bleeding and was required to undergo emergency surgery to remove his spleen. Cruz, who was only 20 years old at the time, was assaulted by multiple correction officers after asking for a mental health evaluation prior to being sent into solitary confinement. Apparently annoyed by his request, multiple officers–with the tacit approval of a captain–repeatedly kicked and punched Mr. Cruz, leaving him with a fractured rib. After weeks of complaints about his pain, Mr. Cruz was finally taken to the hospital, where his massive internal bleeding was discovered. Hospital staff informed him that if he had been left in his cell untreated much longer, Mr. Cruz could have died.

Mr. Cruz is represented by ECBAWM attorneys Jonathan Abady, Samuel Shapiro, and Ali Frick, and by the Legal Aid Society.

Read the New York Post’s coverage here. To read the full complaint, click here.