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Judge refuses to drop Allegheny County from jail inmate's lawsuit

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Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, 11:34 a.m.

A federal judge on Friday refused to drop Allegheny County from a former jail inmate's lawsuit claiming county officials tolerated and even supported the beating of inmates.

Gary W. Barbour, 30, claims that former jail administrator James Donis and eight guards deliberately beat him after he attempted to escape the jail and then conspired to cover up the beating. He also claims that jail officials allowed their conduct despite at least four similar assaults from 2007 to 2010.

In general, the county can't be held liable for the misdeeds of some of its employees, but Barbour has enough evidence of official corruption, said U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan.

She also denied a pretrial motion by Donis and the others that argued they shouldn't be held personally liable for the April 6, 2010, beating.

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