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Mother files wrongful death suit for son's overheated cell death

Unless they are familiar with jails, people likely give little thought to the responsibility of caring for a large group of imprisoned people. While paying for their crimes, prisoners must depend on others to provide basic needs like food, clothing and shelter. Our justice system prohibits cruel and unusual treatment, but one man suffered such a fate in a New York jail where he suffered and died in 100-degree temperatures. In cases like this, it's not only possible to file a wrongful death claim, it's the right thing to do and an experienced attorney can help surviving family members find the path to justice.

The victim's mother and her attorney have filed a wrongful death claim against New York City on behalf of her son's death at Riker's Island jail. The defense attorney has filed the proper documents demanding New York City preserve all communications and documented discussions related to the man's death. At a recent news conference, the man's mother expressed her feelings about the case, saying, "I know he was yelling for help and nobody ever came."

The man, a former Marine with mental health problems, died in February where he was serving a sentence he received for misdemeanor trespassing. Reportedly, a problem with the jail's equipment caused the cell to overheat. According to court documents from an earlier Department of Corrections investigation, the prisoner was discovered unresponsive and slumped on his bed near "a pool of vomit and blood on the floor." The documents say his internal temperature four hours following his discovery was at 103 degrees.

In a notice of claim the mother's attorney filed last month, he said the prisoner died from negligence and carelessness by the DOC. More recently, the attorney said the 56-year-old ex-Marine should have had supervision on an around-the-clock basis while incarcerated at Rikers Island, according to a news report. DOC officials declined to comment on the case.

Source: Claims Journal, "$25M Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against City in NYC Inmate Hot Cell Death" Jake Pearson, May. 20, 2014

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