(NYDAILYNEWS) Leave the ping pong paddles, file the lawsuit. 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.
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.
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.
The table tennis tumble happened Aug. 29, 2013, while Gioeli was being held at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.