Gibson Dunn Achieves Justice, Wins Six-Figure Settlement for Civil Rights Pro Bono Client

August 16, 2023

Gibson Dunn has secured a six-figure settlement on behalf of Jose Ramirez, a wheelchair-bound former prison inmate who was beaten by prison guards and systematically denied access to accommodations for his physical disabilities.

​In 2008, Jose Ramirez walked into prison a healthy man.  Nearly a decade later, he was rolled out of prison in a wheelchair, severely disabled and in constant pain.  In the intervening years, Mr. Ramirez had two botched back surgeries that relegated him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.  After the surgeries, his repeated pleas for medical care and disability accommodations were routinely denied, and his complaints met with indifference and violence.  On one occasion, when Mr. Ramirez complained about the deplorable conditions of his confinement, three prison guards responded by throwing him out of his wheelchair and savagely beating him.  Instead of reprimanding the officers, the prison disciplined Mr. Ramirez and placed him in solitary confinement.

While in prison, Mr. Ramirez filed a pro se complaint in the Southern District of New York against the prison guards and the prison’s medical director, alleging excessive use of force and deficient medical care. After the Court’s 2018 dismissal of the latter claim, Gibson Dunn took on Mr. Ramirez’s case pro bono the following year.

The Gibson Dunn team won a motion to amend the complaint to bring additional claims and convinced the Court to reconsider dismissal of the deficient medical care claim. The team also won a motion to compel the disclosure of internal prison documents. After it had deposed several witnesses and retained a renowned orthopedic surgeon as an expert witness, the Government asked to enter into settlement negotiations, which resulted in Gibson Dunn obtaining a $110,000 settlement for Mr. Ramirez in July 2023.

The Gibson Dunn team included of counsel David Kusnetz and associates Eric Hornbeck, Andrew Freire, and Ina Kosova.