Clark Hill Attorneys Robert Ridge and Elizabeth Collura Convince Third Circuit to Reinstate Inmate’s 8th Amendment Civil Rights Case

Sep 16, 2015

Clark Hill attorneys Robert J. Ridge and Elizabeth F. Collura represented, on a pro bono basis, an inmate in the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institute system in his case against prison officials, alleging cruel and unusual punishment.  As evidenced by videotape, Leonard G. Young was stripped naked and left restrained to a restraint chair for nearly 14 hours.  Mr. Young, who suffers from schizoaffective and bipolar disorders, has been housed in restrictive (solitary) housing for over seven years.

The District Court granted summary judgment for the defendants and dismissed the case.  On appeal, the Third Circuit issued a precedential opinion, holding that the District Court misapplied the legal standard for evaluating excessive force claims in 8th Amendment civil rights cases.  The Third Circuit also held that the District Court must analyze the Department of Justice’s reports on the DOC facilities under the Rules of Evidence, because they may be relevant at trial.

Click here to read coverage of the case in The Legal Intelligencer

Ridge is a Member in Clark Hill’s Litigation Practice Group where he focuses on white collar criminal defense, internal investigations, false claims act litigation and civil matters involving allegations of financial fraud and breach of fiduciary duties. He has defended clients in investigations conducted by federal and state grand juries, the Commonwealth's Attorney General, the SEC, the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission, and the Judicial Qualifications Commission. Ridge has worked with clients in a variety of industries, such as technology, banking, health care, pharmaceuticals, securities, manufacturing and automotive. He has prosecuted and defended complex RICO and commercial fraud disputes involving securities issues, real estate investment financing, fraudulent transfers, and the misuse of trade secrets. He is a graduate of The Federal Bar Association Mediation Training Program. Benchmark Litigation recognized Ridge as a leading litigator in 2013, 2014 and 2015. For the past 11 years, he has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer, an honor bestowed upon the top five percent of Pennsylvania lawyers.  Ridge is Leader of Mackrell International’s White Collar Practice Group.

Collura is a Senior Attorney in Clark Hill’s Commercial and Corporate Litigation Practice Group.  She is experienced with the multifaceted intersection of social media and law. She has handled legal matters involving civil rights, internet defamation and social media discovery/privacy issues. Collura is a frequent presenter at conferences concerning social media, both locally and nationally.  Collura has been selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Edition, 2013, 2014 and 2015.