Judge reverses awarding damages to deaf inmate
WGRZ-TV CH2 • Buffalo, NY
February 18, 2016
WILMINGTON, Del. — A deaf former inmate of the Delaware Department of Correction was denied compensation for his claims the needs of his disability weren’t met in prison.
Superior Court Judge T. Henley Graves on Monday reversed a decision from the Delaware State Human Relations Commission that awarded Robert Ovens damages over claims his jailers didn’t meet his needs under the state’s equal accommodation law. Graves ruled — in agreement with a previous case — prisons are not places of public accommodation under that law.
That doesn’t sit right with Debra Patkin, an attorney with the National Association for the Deaf who reviewed this week’s ruling.