Jury Awards $125K In Damages To Former Inmate Who Is Deaf
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A federal jury has found Multnomah County violated the rights of a deaf man after failing to provide him with an American Sign Language interpreter or other accommodation while he was an inmate.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the eight-member jury deliberated for only about an hour Wednesday after a three-day trial and awarded $125,000 in damages to David Updike.
Two American Sign Language interpreters sat in front of U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon’s bench facing Updike and signed throughout the trial.
After the verdict was announced, Updike signed `Thank you, thank you” to the jury.
Updike’s lawyer argued that the county failed to provide accommodations for Updike’s deafness while he was at the county’s downtown Portland jail and Inverness Jail in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
In January 2013, Gresham police responded to a disturbance at Updike’s home involving Updike and another person. The charges were eventually dismissed.