PHILADELPHIA, April 21, 2015: Morgan Lewis lawyers were recognized by the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s Prisoner Panel for their pro bono efforts in Hyman v. City of Philadelphia at a reception held in the Eastern District’s ceremonial courtroom on Thursday, April 16.
Associates Laura Hughes McNally, Marisa Tilghman, and Adam Hammoud (supervised by partner Steven Reed) tried the case before the Honorable Gerald McHugh. The case centered around the question of whether the policy at the Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility requiring certain pretrial detainees to remain in full mechanical restraints during their hour of daily recreation—alone in a fully enclosed cage or yard—constituted punishment in violation of the 14th Amendment.
The City of Philadelphia’s policy at Curran Fromhold subjected Morgan Lewis client Frank Hyman to such conditions for eight months in 2008-2009, during which time he suffered documented injuries from the mechanical restraints (leg irons, shackles, and handcuffs connected to a waist chain over which a “black box” was placed to prevent him from crossing his wrists), including lacerations to his wrists and ankles. He was subsequently treated for depression and anxiety resulting from his treatment under this policy.
Following a two-day trial held June 16-17, 2014, the jury found for Hyman in determining that the recreation restraint policy was excessive and thereby amounted to punishment in violation of the 14th Amendment. The jury awarded him monetary compensation for each day he was subjected to the full mechanical restraint.
At the ceremony, Judge Goldberg presented the Morgan Lewis team with certificates of appreciation and read comments prepared by Judge McHugh commending the lawyers for their fidelity to the ideal of equal justice under law.