Doug / 06-16-2011 / Wrongful Death

Inmate’s Family Claims Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

According to the Greenfield Daily Reporter, the U.S. Department of Justice has denied a wrongful death and personal injury claim filed by the family of a New Mexico man. The family of Adam Montoya filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging the victim died in prison in agony while his pleas for help went unanswered. Other prisoners said that his pleas for help went unanswered in the two days before his death.

The department issued a response in May saying it had found no evidence that Montoya was injured through negligence on the part of the prison staff before his death. Montoya suffered from cancer, hepatitis and HIV, and bled to death when his spleen ruptured, found the autopsy. The victim’s family has said that the family may not be able to prove that Montoya died as a result of negligence, but that he suffered because of it.

Montoya’s family is seeking $2 million in damages, $1 million for wrongful death and another for personal injury. The department’s investigation found no evidence of negligence on behalf of the prison staff, despite witness accounts that the inmate spent much of the 18 days before his death asking for medical help. The family will now decide if they will file a personal injury and wrongful death lawsuit in federal court.

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