Maryland agrees to pay $7 million to man paralyzed in jail beating

Mar 01, 2023

Maryland officials on Wednesday ended years of litigation by agreeing to pay $7 million to a Baltimore man who was beaten and left paralyzed in a notoriously violent state-run jail, where he was being held on a burglary charge because he could not afford to post $800 bail.

Daquan Wallace, now 28, was attacked so viciously by gang members in 2014 in the old Baltimore City Detention Center that he suffered catastrophic brain damage, rendering him unable to walk or speak, according to his lawyer. After Wallace sued the state, a trial jury awarded him $25 million, ruling that “negligently trained or supervised” guards “were the direct and proximate cause of his injuries.”

But the judge in the case lowered the award to $200,000, saying a state law required the reduction.

Bowing to the possibility that Maryland’s Supreme Court might have eventually ruled in favor of a much higher award — perhaps even reinstating the $25 million — the three-member Maryland Board of Public Works, which controls significant state spending, voted unanimously Wednesday to settle the case for $7 million.