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Mob Boss Files $10M Prison Ping-Pong Lawsuit

'Tommy Shots' blames negligence for injury
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2017 3:41 AM CST
Mob Boss Sues After Prison Ping Pong Injury
Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli is led by FBI agents from Federal Plaza for arraignment, Wednesday, June 4, 2008, in New York.   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

(Newser) – Former mob boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli wants $10 million from the federal government over a Ping-Pong injury. Gioeli, once a high-ranking member of the Colombo crime family, is suing over an injury he suffered during a game at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn in 2013, according to court papers seen by the New York Daily News. He says he slipped on a wet floor while playing a game and fractured a kneecap. His suit argues that the prison is negligent because employees ignored complaints about a leaky pipe that led to the slippery conditions in the recreation area. The federal government, however, says that even Ping-Pong comes with risks, and Gioeli chose to take them. Gioeli needed surgery and rehab after the fall.

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The 64-year-old is three years into an 18-year sentence on racketeering charges, though he was acquitted of murder charges that included the 1997 slaying of a New York City police officer. At his sentencing in 2014, his attorney argued unsuccessfully for a light sentence because his client suffered from arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease, and thus probably wouldn't live beyond his early 70s, the New York Times reported. The story also noted that Gioeli had become a colorful fan of Twitter, with tweets such as: "The FBI spends it's limited resources on terminal Italian book-makers while terrorist & cartels flourish." So how did Gioeli wind up in prison? His own cousin ratted him out, reported the New York Post. (The late Anthony Colombo had a specific influence on the Godfather films.)

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