An appeals court has reversed the decision to award $4.3 million to a former inmate who was paralyzed during a flag football game at the Mansfield Correctional Camp.
Eric Schnetz, 33, of Akron, broke his neck when he was tackled during the 2004 and lost the use of his arms and legs. Schnetz argued the prison system acted negligently because a guard did not supervise the game. He will need twenty-four-hour care for the rest of his life.
The state argued that Schnetz participated voluntarily, and that the negligence had to be intentional for the state to be at fault. An appeals court agreed.
Schnetz had five weeks remaining in a one-year domestic violence sentence when he was injured. He has lived in an Akron rehabilitation facility for the last six years.
An Ohio Court of Claims judge ordered the state to pay $4.3 million to Schnetz last year. The judge determined Schnetz was eligible for twice as much but cut the award in half based on an earlier ruling that responsibility for the injury was split between Schnetz and the prison. Schnetz was making $12.50 an hour when he entered prison, and he says that his concern is that he is now unable to take care of his children.