Imprisoned former Colombo boss Tommy Shots sues feds for $10M for injuries suffered while playing prison ping pong
That’s what former Colombo crime boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli has done — suing the federal government for $10 million over injuries from a game of prison ping-pong.
The table tennis tumble happened Aug. 29, 2013, while Gioeli was being held at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
More than a year earlier, a Brooklyn Federal Court jury had found him guilty of racketeering conspiracy connected to murder plots.
Gioeli, 64, and fellow defendant Dino "Little Dino" Saracino also were accused of carrying out murders, including the killing of a police officer, but acquitted on the murder charges.
According to government court papers, Gioeli argues his slip and fall occurred because of prison officials’ negligence. They knew — or should have known — about the hazardous wet floor in recreation area, pointing to the proximity of showers and an allegedly leaky slop sink pipe.
Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, Colombo acting boss.
The leak was reported to prison employees for days, if not weeks before the accident, Gioeli claims.
The burly Gioeli fractured his right kneecap and had to be hospitalized. The injury required surgery, physical therapy and occupational therapy, court papers obtained by the Daily News show.
The government rejects any charge of negligence, saying it acted with necessary care at all times. And part of its defense is that there’s some risk that comes with playing table tennis — and Gioeli chose to take that risk.
The case has been assigned to Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto.
A bench trial is estimated to take about three days, though the case docket shows no trial date yet.
Gioeli is expected to make it up from his low-security North Carolina prison to testify about his spill and subsequent suffering, according to court papers.
He did not take the stand at his criminal case.
The doctor who examined Gioeli is scheduled to testify about the mafioso’s mishap.
Another person who had been held at the lockup is expected to talk about the floor layout, prisoners tracking in water from the showers, and his complaints about the alleged leak.
The government said it plans to put on witnesses including a Metropolitan Detention Center general foreman.
Gioeli claims he slipped on a wet floor while playing table tennis. He's accusing prison officials of negligence.
The man is expected to say he searched for records of reported water leaks or repair orders for leaks around the time of the incident, but found none.
Another planned government witness is a correction officer who says he found Gioeli on the wet floor, near the showers.
Gioeli is serving an 18-year prison sentence.
Both Gioeli’s lawyer Martin Schiowitz and the Bureau of Prisons declined comment Monday.