Teen claims IDJC staff fractured his shoulder

Posted at 12:29 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 14:40:12-05

A tort claim has been filed against the Idaho Juvenile Corrections Center in Lewiston for $250,000 after lawyers representing a 15-year-old boy say he suffered a broken clavicle, a concussion and “severe bruising on the left side of his forehead, face and chin along with other abrasions and bruises.”

The claim, filed by Nampa attorney Bruce Skaug on behalf of  a juvenile plaintiff referred to in legal documents only as “John Doe,” contends that on January 22nd, an argument took place between the teen and IDJC employee Jerod Ward.

The claim stated the disagreement apparently stemmed from where a desk should be placed, resulting in Ward forcibly moving the teen from his chair.

The teen then stood up and walked from the classroom to “avoid escalation of the disagreement.”

The claim went on to say Ward grabbed the teen and “slammed him on the floor.” The teen reportedly lost consciousness from the impact and when he awoke, found he was being forcibly held down.

Witnesses claim that the teen was heard shouting, “My arm! My arm!” as staff members continued to hold down the teen for approximately 25 minutes.

The teen’s right clavicle suffered a displaced fracture from the impact, according to the claim.

Ward, asserts that he tackled the teen for both the teen’s and his own safety.

According to the tort claim, “Based on witness statements of staff, on information and belief, there were no other persons in the gym when the Plaintiff was tackled. The sound of Plaintiff’s body, hitting the gym floor sounded like, ‘football shoulder pads colliding in a football game,’” according to one staff witness.

The Plaintiff asserts Ward used “unnecessary and excessive force on a minor child” and violated his civil rights.

The Plaintiff claims he needs, “medical care, including surgical repair of the still visibly-displaced clavicle, and counseling as a result of the actions of Mr. Ward and other staff and management at Idaho Juvenile Corrections Center-Lewiston. John Doe’s damages continue to accrue. He hereby makes claim for damages in the amount of, but not limited to, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).”

When asked to comment on the matter, Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections Spokesman Jeff Ray responded, "We can’t comment on tort claims or other legal matters that are subject to litigation."