8M Settlement in Attica Riot

Tuesday, August 29th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A federal judge has determined how an $8 million settlement will be divided among inmates caught in the deadly 1971 Attica prison riots.

The 502 former inmates or their families are to receive anywhere from $6,500 to $125,000 from the settlement plan devised by U.S. District Judge Michael Telesca and announced Monday.

In earlier agreeing to settle the 26-year-old lawsuit, the state admitted no wrongdoing and agreed to pay the inmates $8 million and their lawyers $4 million in fees. The original class-action lawsuit in 1974 sought $100 million in damages.

Inmates took over parts of the state prison in western New York on Sept. 9, 1971. A standoff ended four days later when state police launched an all-out assault on orders from then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller.

Of the 1,281 inmates in the prison yard when police launched their assault, hundreds have since died. Most of the former inmates who will receive money are in their 50s or older.

Former inmates have testified in federal court that after the recapture of the prison they suffered beatings and torture.

Thirty-two inmates and 11 prison employees died during the riots.