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Jury awards inmate $10 in suit against corrections officer

BRIDGEPORT – A federal court jury Thursday found a state correctional officer civilly liable for allegedly assaulting a Danbury man in the prison.

But the jury found that Joseph Izzo, who is serving a 30-year sentence for burglary, conspiracy and possession of a firearm, is only entitled to $10 in damages.

“This case was about principle,” said Izzo’s lawyer, Antonio Ponvert III of the Bridgeport-based law firm Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder. “This verdict is even more important than if a jury awarded a large sum of money because it now stands as a case of pure principle and that is all my client cared about.”

According to the lawsuit, on Oct. 3, 2009, in Unit O at McDougall Walker Center in Suffield, Officer James Papciak attacked Izzo with no reason or justification.

“Officer Papciak’s attack was simply for sport,” said Ponvert, who tried the case with Emily Rock.

Izzo, 44, formerly of Danbury, currently is incarcerated at Cheshire Correctional facility.

“There has been no disciplinary action against Officer Papciak,” Ponvert said.  “Apparently the state Department of Corrections found his actions proper.  The jury clearly did not.”

Jeff Bustraan