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Portland federal jury awards $400K to deaf former inmate


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal jury has awarded $400,000 to a deaf man who was a former Oregon inmate after finding that state corrections officials violated his civil rights by failing to make proper accommodations for his disability.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports ( the jury reached the verdict Thursday in favor of David VanValkenburg.

VanValkenburg said the state didn’t provide him with a qualified interpreter for prison medical appointments and denied him a prison job and a class to help him prepare for his release.

Betty Bernt, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Corrections, says the state is reviewing its options for an appeal.

Jurors weren’t told that VanValkenburg was serving a sentence for sodomy and sexual abuse convictions involving crimes against a 10-year-old boy in Washington County.

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