Michigan Drops Appeal In Major $325,000 Verdict For Prisoner

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan Corrections Department has dropped an appeal and paid $325,000 to a prisoner who accused staff of deliberately ignoring his chronic joint pain.

Spokesman Chris Gautz says officials still don’t agree with the jury’s verdict but believe they wouldn’t win an appeal.

Temujin Kensu sued many officials in 2013, including a doctor who was chief medical officer. Kensu said he failed to get shoulder surgery and other joint care, despite recommendations.

A jury in Detroit federal court awarded him $325,000 last year. Much of the award came in the form of punitive damages, a sign that jurors found extraordinary misconduct in Kensu’s care.

The 52-year-old, also known as Fred Freeman, is serving a no-parole sentence for a murder conviction in St. Clair County. He’s been in prison for nearly 30 years and continues to fight his conviction. He insists he was in the Upper Peninsula on the day that a young man was killed in a college parking lot in Port Huron in 1986. The Innocence Clinic at University of Michigan law school is representing him.

© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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