Prisoner Suit for Psychological Trauma After Being Sodomized by a Jail Guard

In Collins v. Union County Jail, 150 N.J. 407, 696 A.2d 625 (1997), the plaintiff, an inmate in the Union County Jail, was fondled by a corrections officer and thereafter fondled and forcibly sodomized on a second occasion. Id. at 410, 696 A.2d 625. The inmate brought suit alleging that, as a result of the sexual assault, he sustained a permanent post-traumatic stress disorder as diagnosed by his treating psychologist. Ibid. The Supreme Court distinguished other cases involving psychological injuries where there had been no physical injury claimed, finding the missing link to be the "aggravating and intrusive assault" that allegedly caused the plaintiff to sustain permanent psychological injuries. Id. at 420, 696 A.2d 625. Soft tissue injuries claimed to be permanent do not generally constitute sufficient aggravation to warrant recovery for pain and suffering. Id. at 418, 696 A.2d 625.