Augustin v. Jablonsky
We are lead counsel in this consolidated class action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. It is a consolidation of three separately filed cases, Augustin v. Jablonsky, CV 99-3126 (DRH), O’Day v. Nassau County, CV 99-2844 (DRH), and Iaffaldano v. County of Nassau, CV 99-4238 (DRH). In the consolidated case, the Court certified, for purposes of liability and general damages, a class defined as all persons arrested for misdemeanors or non-criminal offenses in Nassau County who thereafter were strip searched at the Nassau County Correctional Center [“NCCC”] pursuant to defendants’ blanket policy, practice and custom which required that all arrestees be strip searched upon admission to the facility, from May 20, 1996 until and including June 1, 1999. Defendants conceded that all of those strip searches were unlawful and conceded liability to the members of the class. After a trial on the issue of general damages to be awarded to the class, the Court determined to award each class member $500 per strip search for general damages due to the injury to human dignity inherent in each strip search, leaving the issue of all other damages –“special damages” -- for later determination. The Court has now determined not to continue class certification so as to permit special damages to be decided on a classwide basis. Each class member must therefore either move to intervene in this action or commence his or her own individual separate action in order to seek damages for his or her emotional distress, whether it be emotional distress beyond that which is inseparable from the injury to human dignity, or other items of special damages, including more severe emotional distress or economic loss, resulting from his or her unlawful strip search(es) upon admission to the NCCC during the class period.
You may review the following decisions and orders of the Court by clicking on the following links:
- On March 27, 2008, the Court certified the class for general damages for the injury to human dignity necessarily entailed in being strip searched
- On September 22, 2010, after an 11-day trial, the Court awarded $500 per strip search for such general damages
- On October 19, 2011, the Court determined not to continue class certification for special damages, including damages for humiliation, emotional distress and economic loss
- On January 25, 2012, the Court proposed text for a Notice to be sent to class members